Low-Velocity Impact Behavior of Sandwich Structures with Additively Manufactured Polymer Lattice Cores

  • Andrew J. Turner
  • Mohammed Al Rifaie
  • Ahsan Mian
  • Raghavan Srinivasan


Sandwich panel structures are widely used in aerospace, marine, and automotive applications because of their high flexural stiffness, strength-to-weight ratio, good vibration damping, and low through-thickness thermal conductivity. These structures consist of solid face sheets and low-density cellular core structures, which are traditionally based upon honeycomb folded-sheet topologies. The recent advances in additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing process allow lattice core configurations to be designed with improved mechanical properties. In this work, the sandwich core is comprised of lattice truss structures (LTS). Two different LTS designs are 3D-printed using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and are tested under low-velocity impact loads. The absorption energy and the failure mechanisms of lattice cells under such loads are investigated. The differences in energy-absorption capabilities are captured by integrating the load–displacement curve found from the impact response. It is observed that selective placement of vertical support struts in the unit-cell results in an increase in the absorption energy of the sandwich panels.


3D printing additive manufacturing energy absorption low-velocity impact sandwich structures 



The authors would like to thank Steve and Josh Nuttall at SNI for the fabrication of the Impact Machine and also Dr. Ryan Meritt at Ahmic Aerospace for his greatly appreciated assistance with the Data Acquisition System. Thanks to David Roberts at the Non-Destructive Materials Testing group at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for the time and efforts in obtaining the CT scans.


  1. 1.
    J.M. Hundley, E.C. Clough, and A.J. Jacobsen, The Low Velocity Impact Response of Sandwich Panels with Lattice Core Reinforcements, Int. J. Impact Eng., 2015, 84, p 64–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    G.S. Dhaliwal and G.M. Newaz, Modeling Low Velocity Impact Response of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Aluminum Laminates (CARALL), J. Dyn. Behav. Mater, 2016, 2, p 181–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Ju, J. Summers, J. Ziegert, and G. Fadel, Design of Honeycombs for Modulus and Yield Strain in Shear, J. Eng. Mater. Technol., 2012, 134, p 011002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    M.F. Ashby, A.G. Evans, N.A. Fleck, L.J. Gibson, J.W. Hutchinson, and H.N.G. Wadley, Metal Foams: A Design Guide, Woburn, Butterworth-Heinemann, MA, 2000Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.A.W. Mines, S. Tsopanos, Y. Shen, R. Hasan, and S.T. McKown, Drop Weight Impact Behaviour of Sandwich Panels with Metallic Micro Lattice Cores, Int. J. Impact Eng., 2013, 60, p 120–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    D.J. Sypeck and N.G. Wadley, Cellular Metal Truss Core Sandwich Structures, Adv. Eng. Mater., 2002, 4(10), p 759–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Wang, A.G. Evans, K. Dharmasena, and H.N.G. Wadley, On the Performance of Truss Panels with Kagome Cores, Int. J. Solids Struct., 2003, 40, p 2981–2988Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Chiras, D.R. Mumm, A.G. Evans, N. Wicks, J.W. Hutchinson, K. Dharmasena, H.N.G. Wadley, and S. Fichter, The Structural Performance of Near-Optimized Truss Core Panels, Int. J. Solids Struct., 2002, 39, p 4093–4115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    D.T. Queheillalt and H.N.G. Wadley, Titanium Alloy Lattice Truss Structures, Mater. Des., 2009, 30, p 1966–1975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    C. Williams, Design and Development of a Layer-Based Additive Manufacturing Process for the Realization of Metal Parts of Designed Mesostructures, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, 2008Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Y. Shen, W. Cantwell, R. Mines, and Y. Li, Low-Velocity Impact Performance of Lattice Structure Core Based Sandwich Panels, J. Compos. Mater., 2014, 48(25), p 3153–3167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    “uPrint SE Plus,” Stratasys (2017). Accessed 14 Jan 2017.
  13. 13.
    ABSplus-P430 Material Specification Sheet, Stratasys Inc., 2015.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Standard Test Method for Measuring the Damage Resistance of a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite to a Drop-Weight Impact Event, American Society of Testing and Materials, Standard D7136/D7136M − 15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Turner
    • 1
  • Mohammed Al Rifaie
    • 1
  • Ahsan Mian
    • 1
  • Raghavan Srinivasan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Materials EngineeringWright State UniversityDaytonUSA

Personalised recommendations