The energy-absorbing behaviour of foam cores reinforced with composite rods

J. Zhou, Z. W. Guan, W. J. Cantwell, Y. Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the energy-absorbing characteristics of composite reinforced PVC foam cores for use in lightweight impact-resistant sandwich structures. Compressive tests have been undertaken on crosslinked PVC foam cores with densities ranging from 40 to 200kg/m3, reinforced with carbon fibre and glass fibre rods with nominal diameters of 2,3 and 4mm. It has been shown that the compression strength of the reinforced foams can be optimised through the correct selection of rod arrangement and foam density.A limited number of drop-weight impact tests were also conducted on selected samples to investigate their dynamic performance. Here, it was shown that increasing the volume fraction of rods above 2.5% has little effect on the measured SEA of the two types of reinforced foam. Finally, a theoretical analysis has been undertaken to predict the peak load and the corresponding compressive displacement of the reinforced PVC foam cores.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)346-356
Number of pages11
JournalComposite Structures
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Carbon fibre
  • Energy absorption
  • Glass fibre
  • Mechanical testing
  • PVC foam
  • Sandwich


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