Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 317–327 | Cite as

Impact Performance of Stitched and Unstitched Composites in Extreme Low Temperature Arctic Conditions

  • M. Elamin
  • B. Li
  • K. T. TanEmail author


The impact performance of T650-35 stitched polyimide laminates and unstitched CFRP woven laminates is investigated at 23 and − 70 °C. Three impact energy levels of 6.7, 13.4, and 18.4 J/mm are selected to analyze the resulting damage modes. The results from the force–displacement and the absorbed energy curves evidently show that at − 70 °C, the specimens have noticeably higher initiation damage force for both material systems. Moreover, more significant load drops are observed at − 70 °C curves compared to the room temperature curves, which imply that multiple damage modes exist in greater extent at low temperature. The results further show that the T650-35 polyimide composites require higher impact load to initiate the matrix damage, indicating that the stitches efficiently suppressed the crack propagation on the samples. Furthermore, the T650-35 stitched polyimide composites can carry higher damage loads in both temperatures compared to the unstitched CFRP woven composites. X-ray micro-computed tomography technique is employed to reveal multiple complex impact damage modes. Results show that for unstitched composites impacted at 6.7 J/mm, − 70 °C samples experience multiple damage modes that include significant delamination, fiber breakage. However, for stitched composites impacted at 13.4 J/mm, similar complex damage modes are observed at 23 and − 70 °C.


Damage tolerance Stitching Impact behavior Low temperature 



The authors acknowledge the research Grant N00014-16-1-3202 provided by the Office of Naval Research (ONR Program Manager: Dr. Yapa Rajapakse). The authors also thank Dr. Kathy Chuang (NASA Glenn Research Center) for providing the stitched composite specimens.


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of AkronAkronUSA

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