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Effect of Impactor Mass on CFRP in Arctic Condition under Low-Velocity Impact



This study investigates the impact response and damage characterization of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) under low-velocity impact by impactors of different masses and velocities at 62J. Low-velocity impacts are conducted at room temperature (23ºC) as well as low temperature (-70ºC) conditions in the thermal chamber of the drop tower testing machine, Instron CEAST 9350. The aim is to observe composite behavior in the cold Arctic environment due to equal energy impacts. Moreover, a 3mm thickness of ice is created on the CFRP samples at -12ºC after 24 hours of freezing and impacted at -70ºC. The goal is to elucidate the contribution of surface ice on the overall impact damage of composites. X-ray micro-computed tomography is utilized to reveal the inner damages of the composite structures. Intralaminar damage in the form of fiber breakage is found as the dominant failure mode on the CFRP samples from 62J impacts. But differences in the delamination and matrix crack formation are identified for different mass-velocity configurations and environmental conditions. Results show that low mass impactors produce a larger damage initiation force on the composites at all temperatures, whereas no specific trend is observed in the peak force values due to severe fiber failure. Although higher mass impactors show longer impact duration, lower mass impactors develop greater damage on the CFRP, as seen by a greater reduction in specimen stiffness. Furthermore, the presence of ice is observed to have a minimal effect on the damage behavior of composites. But ice layer assists to reduce the amplitude of initial load drop by the low mass impactor and as such, less permanent displacement is identified in the CFRP specimens than both room temperature and low-temperature conditions. This study explores the understanding of the dynamic behavior of composites under low-temperature icy conditions.


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