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, Christos Kassapoglou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
116 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
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th European Conference on Composite Materials
Subtitle of host publicationMunich, Germany
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-3-00-053387-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event17th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2016 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 26 Jun 201630 Jun 2016
Conference number: 17


Conference17th European Conference on Composite Materials, ECCM 2016
Abbreviated titleECCM 2016
Internet address


  • Energy absorption
  • automotive
  • dynamic
  • Composite
  • sandwich
  • crushing


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