The high-velocity impact response of thermoplastic-matrix fibre-metal laminates

Mohamed R. Abdullah, Wesley J. Cantwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The high-velocity impact response of fibre metal laminates based on a woven polypropylene fibre reinforced polypropylene, termed a self-reinforced polypropylene, and a glass reinforced polypropylene has been investigated. Two types of aluminium alloy were considered, these being the 2024-O and 2024-T3 alloys. Tests on these composite-metal hybrids were undertaken using a gas gun over a wide range of incident impact energies. In this study, attention focused specifically on the perforation threshold. Following impact, the fracture mechanisms in the two types of fibre metal laminates were elucidated by sectioning and polishing samples through the point of impact and also by measuring the residual deformation of the hybrid plates. Cross-sections of the failed samples highlighted significant plasticity within the volume of these hybrid materials, indicating that considerable energy had been absorbed in plastically deforming the aluminium and composite plies. The impact resistances of the various laminates were compared by determining their specific perforation energies. Here, it was shown that fibre metal laminates based on the glass reinforced polypropylene composite offer a slightly higher perforation resistance than the self-reinforced polypropylene fibre metal laminates. Also, the fibre metal laminates based on the stronger 2024-T3 alloy out-performed their 2024-O counterparts. Finally, the perforation resistances of the fibre metal laminates were predicted using the previously reported Reid-Wen impact perforation model. Good agreement was observed between this impact model and the measured experimental data.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • failure mechanisms
  • Fibre-metal laminates
  • hybrid materials
  • impact behaviour


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