Energy absorption of macrocomposite laminates
The aim of this project was two-fold. Firstly to provide an understanding of the behaviour of SMC when subjected to drop weight impact and secondly to investigate the effect of a surface layer of a metallic material (stainless steel, aluminium, brass and copper) and a layer of Ionomer on the impact behaviour of SMC. Tensile, flexural, compression, shear, charpy and drop weight impact tests were carried out on SMC (Sheet Moulding Compound). The response of SMC and various combinations of SMC and metal sheet (stainless steel, aluminium, brass and copper) and SMC with a layer of Ionomer to impact load have been assessed using an Instrumented Falling Weight Impact test machine. Slow indentation tests and a variety of destructive and non-destructive test techniques were used to monitor the initiation and propagation of damage and relate them to the major features of typical force-time curves obtained during impact. The deformation of the metallic layer was compared under impact and slow test and a calibration curve was produced. By using the calibration curve the energy absorbed by SMC and SMC as a layer in SMC+metal laminate was compared and results were related to stiffness and ductility of the metallic layer. The energy absorbed by the SMC-metal laminates were analysed and the energy absorbed by each constituents was determined. The effect of impact damage on tensile and compressive residual strength was assessed by conducting tension and compression test on the damaged specimens. Finally, a number of simple models and fInite element technique were used to predict the impact response of SMC and SMCmetal laminates to impact. The results of the research programme indicated a strong macrocomposite effect resulting in greatly improved energy absorbing capabilities for SMC. The indications were that a metal layer was required that would be stiff, thereby putting the SMC into compression and also ductile in order to support extensive deformation in the SMC whereby microcracking could accumulate.