Improvement of the in-plane crushing response of CFRP sandwich panels by through-thickness reinforcements

L. G. Blok, J. Kratz*, D. Lukaszewicz, S. Hesse, C. Ward, C. Kassapoglou

*Corresponding author for this work

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

26 Citations (Scopus)
396 Downloads (Pure)


Fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) composite materials can provide superior specific energy absorption performance over conventional metallic structures if crush stability can be maintained during the impact event. The core in sandwich structures helps to stabilise the crush front by preventing global buckling, but delamination remains a barrier to optimal crushing performance. In this work, the in-plane crushing response of sandwich structures was improved by adding through-thickness reinforcement in the form of aramid fibre tufts. The effect of tufting different sandwich cores and facesheet orientations was investigated in both static and dynamic crushing modes. A drop-tower test rig was used to crush panels in realistic automotive crash conditions and a high-speed camera captured the crushing mechanisms. The through-thickness reinforcement improved the facesheet to core adhesion, resulting in a more localised and stable fracture of the facesheets. Tufting improved the specific energy absorption (SEA) from 11.5 kJ/kg to 20.5 kJ/kg and the crush force efficiency (CFE) from 0.22 to 0.55.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalComposite Structures
Early online date12 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Energy absorption
  • Impact behaviour
  • Through-thickness reinforcement
  • Composite sandwich panel


Dive into the research topics of 'Improvement of the in-plane crushing response of CFRP sandwich panels by through-thickness reinforcements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this