The energy-absorbing characteristics of tubular sandwich structures

H. Z. Jishi, R. A. Alia, W. J. Cantwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The energy-absorbing response of sandwich structures with exceptionally high levels of energy absorption is investigated. The sandwich panels are produced by fixing small composite tubes onto metal facings with surface features that reflect the internal geometry of the tubing. Small diameter tubes are employed to manufacture the cores, since it is well established that the specific energy absorption (SEA) characteristics of a composite tube increase as the inner dimension (diameter or wall-to-wall) to thickness ratio decreases. Tests have been undertaken on tubular arrays based on both circular and square composite tubes. The effect of varying the areal density of the tubular array within the core was investigated by systematically increasing the number of tubes from one to nine. An examination of the composites during the crushing process indicated that all of the tubes failed in a splaying process, involving significant fracturing of fibers and longitudinal splitting. The measured values of SEA remained relatively constant in most cases as the areal density of the tubular arrangement was increased, suggesting that cores could readily be designed to absorb known levels of applied external energy. Arrays based on circular tubes offered higher energy-absorbing characteristics than their square counterparts, with values in excess of 100 kJ/kg being recorded in some cases. It is believed that these tubular sandwich structures offer potential for use in components that are subjected to extreme dynamic loading, such as those associated with impact and blast.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)742-762
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sandwich Structures and Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • blast
  • CFRP circular tubes
  • CFRP square tubes
  • compression
  • energy absorption
  • impact
  • Sandwich structures
  • specific energy absorption


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