Experimental and numerical study of low velocity impact on sandwich panels with aluminum facesheets and foam core


  • Oana Alexandra Mocian “Politehnica” University of Bucharest, Department of Strength of Material, Romania
  • Dan Mihai Constantinescu “Politehnica” University of Bucharest, Department of Strength of Material, Romania
  • Marin Sandu “Politehnica” University of Bucharest, Department of Strength of Material, Romania
  • Stefan Sorohan “Politehnica” University of Bucharest, Department of Strength of Material, Romania


foam sandwich panels, experimental impact tests, Finite Element Method, low-density foam, smoothed particle hydrodynamics method


This study investigates the effect of foam core type in sandwich structures under low velocity impact. The structures consist of aluminum facesheets and polystyrene and polyurethane foam core with density of 32 kg/m3 , respectively 100 kg/m3 . Low velocity impact tests are performed using an instrumented drop weight tower (Instron CEAST 9340). The sandwich panels are subjected to impact velocities in the range of 1.5-4.5 m/s. Force-time histories are plotted to determine the impact damage response of the structure. A dynamic finite element model (FEM) of the phenomena observed experimentally is proposed. A low-density foam material model is used in order to explore the core behavior, while the plastic kinematic material model is used to predict the failure of the facesheets. To overcome the problems related to large deformations of the finite elements, a mesh free model is developed using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method. The numerical variation of the contact force in time is validated by comparison with experimental test results.


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