In the current work, sandwich composite structures with innovative constructions referred to as Z-pins, or truss core pins are investigated, in conjunction with traditional honeycomb and foam core sandwich constructions, such that they exhibit enhanced transverse stiffness, high damage resistance and furthermore, damage tolerance to impact. While the investigations pertaining to low velocity impact have appeared recently in Vaidya et al. 1999, the current paper deals with compression-after-impact studies conducted to evaluate the residual properties of sandwich composites “with” and “without” reinforced foam cores.

The resulting sandwich composites have been investigated for their low velocity (< 5 m/sec) impact loading response using instrumented impact testing at energy levels ranging from 5 J to 50 J impact energy. The transverse stiffness of the cores and their composites has also been evaluated through static compression studies. Compression-after-impact studies were then performed on the sandwich composites with traditional and pin-reinforcement cores. Supporting vibration studies have been conducted to assess the changes in stiffness of the samples as a result of the impact damage. The focus of this paper is on the compression-after-impact (CAI) response and vibration studies with accompanying discussion pertaining to the low velocity impact.

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