Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 41, Issue 21, pp 7165–7182 | Cite as

Effect of contact geometry on compressive failure processes in sandwich structures

  • Witolda A. Maruszewska
  • John P. DearEmail author


Reducing the unladen weight of road and rail vehicles as well as ships and aircraft is often a requirement. This is to increase their performance, achieve better fuel economy, reduce direct operating costs and make other improvements as new suitable lightweight materials become available. However, at the design stage, often it is also needed to assess the lightweight or other candidate materials as to their ability to absorb impact energy in the event of a crash or other major impact. Related to the use of lightweight materials in racing car bodies, the Federation International de L’Automobile (FIA) has introduced stringent methods for assessing lightweight and other structural materials particularly as to their ability to protect racing car drivers in the advent of a crash. However, this FIA assessment method requires large sheets of material and a very powerful impact facility. One aim of this study was to devise a scaled down method that was able to provide data relatable to those from the full-scale FIA evaluation. This is together with providing for varying the impact conditions to study the variability of material properties in panels. Also, this is to explore the properties of lightweight materials for other applications as to their high-energy absorption ability.


Sandwich Panel Impact Head Lightweight Material Honeycomb Core H620 Material 



The authors thank Hexcel Composites for providing samples for the experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK

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