Real-Time Experimental Investigation on Dynamic Failure of Sandwich Structures and Layered Materials

  • L. Roy XuEmail author
  • Ares J. Rosakis


We present a systematic experimental investigation of the generation and subsequent evolution of dynamic failure modes in sandwich structures and layered materials subjected to out-of-plane low-speed impact. Model sandwich specimens involving a compliant polymer core sandwiched between two metal layers and other model layered materials were designed to simulate failure evolution mechanisms in real sandwich structures and layered materials. High-speed photography and dynamic photoelasticity were utilized to study the nature and sequence of such failure modes. In all cases, inter-layer (interfacial) cracks appeared first. These cracks were shear-dominated and were often intersonic even under moderate impact speeds. The transition from inter-layer crack growth to intra-layer crack formation was also observed. The shear inter-layer cracks kinked into the core layer, propagated as opening-dominated intra-layer cracks and eventually branched as they attained high enough growth speeds causing brittle core fragmentation. In-depth failure mechanics experiments on the dynamic crack branching, crack kinking and penetration at a weak interface, interfacial debonding ahead of a main incident crack were also conducted to understand the physical insight of the dynamic failure modes and their transition observed from sandwich structures and layered materials.


Stress Intensity Factor Interfacial Crack Sandwich Structure Dynamic Crack Dynamic Stress Intensity Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research through a MURI grant to Caltech (N00014–06–1–0730), a research grant to Vanderbilt (N00014–08–1–0137), Dr. Y.D.S Rajapakse, Program Manager of both projects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Graduate Aeronautical LaboratoriesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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