The main objectives of this study have been 1) to carry out impact experiments of fibre reinforced polymer composite plates and 2) numerical simulations of these impacts. Two impact devices were used: a Rosand Instrumented Falling Weight device and a self constructed drop weight device, which was built for the present study. Nine impacts tests were performed using the Rosand device in order to study the effect of varying the energy and mass. A number of impact tests were conducted with the drop weight device to test it out and to ensure that it worked well before performing three final impact tests relevant for this study. The drop weight device provided very good result. In view of the simple construction and equipment used, this was considered very satisfactory.
All impact tests were simulated numerically using the finite element program AUTODYN. The results compared well with the experiments. The impact durations were not identical for the simulations and the experiments, but the differences were in most cases small and insignificant. The simulated damage areas gave a good indication of the real damage observed in the experiments.
Static stress, strain and deflection simulations were performed using the finite element program ANSYS. Stress and strain analyses were conducted for an applied deflection, known from the impact experiments. For the Rosand impacts, the stress distributions in ANSYS were about the same as those for the AUTODYN simulations, but for the drop weight impacts there was no similarity between the stress distributions in ANSYS and AUTODYN.