Energy absorption of aluminum panels subjected to gelatin projectile impact

Abstract Digital image correlation (DIC) method has been widely used on dynamical experiments. This full-field and real-time method can fill in the gap of traditional point-based measurements of typical structures subjected to soft body impact such as bird strike. In order to get further understandings of soft body impact process, the present study analyzed the time-dependent energy exchange during impact experiments. The dynamic responses of the aluminum target panels were obtained using 3D digital image correlation method so that their displacement and strain field histories can be tracked. By introducing the material properties of the targets, their time-dependent stress state and consequently the strain energy can be calculated. With the help of time-dependent profiles of target panels, their energy absorption properties were theoretically analyzed, including the exchange of kinetic energy and plastic work. The results showed that when the impact loadings were increased, the plastic work generated by radial membrane force became the major source of energy dissipation. The transverse movements consumed more kinetic energies than rotatory moments. This research may provide a further application of DIC results and help to better understand the soft body impact process on targets with large deformations.