The low velocity impact response of foam-based sandwich panels

Jin Zhou, Mohamad Zaki Hassan, Zhongwei Guan, Wesley J. Cantwell

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137 Scopus citations


This paper describes the results of a combined experimental/numerical study to investigate the perforation resistance of sandwich structures. The impact response of plain foam samples and their associated sandwich panels was characterised by determining the energy required to perforate the panels. The dynamic response of the panels was predicted using the finite element analysis package ABAQUS/Explicit. The experimental arrangement, as well as the FE model were also used to investigate, for the first time, the effect of oblique loading on sandwich structures and also to study the impact response of sandwich panels on an aqueous support.Testing has shown that the perforation resistance of the plain foams and their sandwich panels is strongly dependent on the properties of the foam core. For example, increasing the density of the crosslinked PVC foams from 60 to 200kg/m 3 yielded an eight fold increase in the perforation resistance of the sandwich panels. At intermediate and higher densities, the crosslinked PVC foams and their associated sandwich structures offered a superior perforation resistance to their linear PVC counterparts. The FE analysis reasonably predicted the impact load-displacement responses and the perforation energies of both the plain foams and the sandwich panels. Finally, it has been shown that sandwich panels impacted in an aqueous environment offer a lower perforation resistance than those tested in air.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1781-1790
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Issue number14
StatePublished - 17 Sep 2012


  • A. Glass fibres
  • B. Impact behaviour
  • C. Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • PVC foam sandwich


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