Prediction model for the impact response of glass fibre reinforced aluminium foam sandwiches
The use of sandwich structures combines low weight with high energy absorbing capacity, so they are suitable for applications in the transport industry (automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding industry), where the "lightweight design" philosophy and the safety of vehicles are very important aspects. The goal of this paper was the analysis of the bending and the low - velocity impact response of aluminium foam sandwiches reinforced by the outer skins made of glass fibre reinforced epoxy matrix. The results were compared with those obtained for aluminium foam sandwiches without glass fibre skins. An analytical model for the peak load prediction under low velocity impact was developed and the predicted values are in good agreement with the experimental measurements. The impact response of the sandwiches was investigated using a theoretical approach, based on the energy balance model and the model parameters were obtained by the tomographic analyses of the impacted panels. This combined experimental and theoretical investigation has particular importance for applications that require lightweight composite structures with a high capacity of energy dissipation, such as the transport industry, where problems of collision and crash have increased in the last years. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.