Experimental study of the medium velocity impact response of sandwich panels with different cores

Hongxu Wang, Karthik Ram Ramakrishnan, Krishna Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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The impact response of sandwich panels is not only dependent on the facesheet but also on the core material. This paper compares the dynamic response of sandwich panels with different core materials when subjected to medium velocity impacts. The sandwich panels were made of aluminium facesheets with five different cores, viz., low density balsa wood, high density balsa wood, cork, polypropylene honeycomb, and polystyrene foam. All the specimens were impacted by an instrumented projectile with a hemispherical steel head at three impact energies of 43, 85 and 120 J. An accelerometer attached to the projectile and a high speed camera were used to collect data and record the impact process. 3D scanning technique was used to measure the deformation of front and back faces after impact. The impact properties of the sandwich panels with the five different cores were compared in terms of contact force, energy absorption, depth of indentation, overall bending deflection, etc. Post-mortem sectioning was conducted to examine the impact induced failures such as facesheet rupture, crush of core material, and debonding between facesheet and core. Finite element modelling was also carried out to elucidate the observed experimental results and further understand the effect of core material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-82
Number of pages15
JournalMaterials and Design
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2016


  • core material
  • energy absorption
  • failure mechanism
  • impact
  • sandwich panel


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