Abstract

The influence of test conditions on the low velocity impact (LVI) response and damage evolution in neat resin plaques was investigated and documented. Specifically, the effect of impactor mass, velocity, and corresponding impact energy on the LVI response and damage evolution in unreinforced DERAKANE vinyl ester 411-350-resin system was studied. An instrumented drop weigh test machine was used to conduct the low velocity impact tests. The room temperature response of the material to impact loading and damage evolution was investigated using the impact load histories, impact plots and fractography analysis. This study is built upon previous work by the authors on LVI of neat resin systems, particularly those that have emerged as a new class of resins in liquid molding process. The study was motivated by the need for data and understanding of the failure characteristics of the individual constituents of a composite material such as in modeling of damage propagation and failure criteria analysis.

For constant impact velocity, the time-to-maximum load (tm), total impact duration (tt), and the energy-to-maximum load to total energy absorbed (Em/Et) ratio increased, and energy absorbed after peak load (Ep) decreased with the mass of the impactor. For constant impactor mass, the time-to-maximum load and total impact duration decreased, the Em/Et ratio remained fairly the same, and energy absorbed after peak load increased with velocity; i.e., the impact velocity and mass had opposing effects on the time-to-maximum load, the total impact duration, Em/Et and energy absorbed after peak load.

A single layer of plain-weave S2-glass fabric was incorporated in some of the unreinforced plaques in order to analyze the influence of reinforcement on the impact response and damage evolution. Insertion of a fabric layer aided in containment of the damage within the bounds of the specimen and to isolate the failure characteristics, which enabled further analysis of the impact response and damage evolution.

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