Soft body impact resistance of composite foam core sandwich panels with unidirectional corrugated and tubular reinforcements

Rade Vignjevic, James Campbell, Kevin Hughes, Michał Orłowski, Serafina Garcea, Philip Withers, Julian Reed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Bird strikes represent a major hazard in the lifecycle of composite aircraft components, due to the low impact resistance of composites. The research presented in this paper investigates soft body impact performance of composite sandwich panels with corrugated and tubular core reinforcements. This type of panel with augmented strength and stiffness in one direction is of high importance for specific aerospace applications. The panels were subjected to high velocity impact with soft gelatine projectile as used in bird strike tests. In addition, the experimental part included non-destructive inspections of the sandwich panel samples. Panel performance was also analysed with the non-linear transient analysis software LS-DYNA with finite element and SPH capability. The panel with corrugated reinforcement showed good impact resistance with damage restricted to the impacted face sheet, foam core and corrugated reinforcement. The panel with tubular reinforcement, of the same thickness, did not suffer any damage at the same impact velocity of 115 m/s, but was damaged at a higher impact velocity of 235 m/s. The numerical studies helped to understand the experimental data, enabling comparison of impact performance of the reinforced sandwich panels and a benchmark conventional sandwich panel. The proposed reinforced sandwich panels, with the desired augmented strength and stiffness in one direction, showed improved impact resistance in comparison to conventional sandwich panels and therefore have potential for application in aerospace structures where these properties are desirable.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number103320
    JournalInternational Journal of Impact Engineering
    Early online date21 Jun 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


    • Bird strike
    • Composites
    • Corrugated core reinforcement
    • CT - computed tomography
    • FEM, SPH
    • Sandwich panel
    • Soft body impact
    • Tubular core reinforcement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Automotive Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Ocean Engineering
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering


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