1996-12-01

A Side Impact Test Procedure for Composite Sandwich Panels 962506

Penetration of the side structure of Indianapolis-type racing cars by the front suspension and wheel assembly in right side impacts with the track wall has been a source of injuries in recent years. This paper describes a test procedure and facility developed for studying the impact mechanics of the penetration process associated with the failure of the composite structures used in these cars as well as for evaluating alternative side-panel designs for injury reduction. Results are presented for four panel impact tests encompassing a range of boundary conditions. Good correspondence was obtained between test panel and real-world damage.

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