Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Yi Zhao

Committee Member

Dr. Habib Eslami

Committee Member

Dr. Frank Radosta


Impact damage on aircraft and spacecraft can be a severe problem that may cause catastrophic results. Several aerospace structures have been used to resist or absorb energy in the occasion of impact. Among these, a sandwich structure has advantages with high stiffness, strength to weight ratio, and its relatively cheap cost. However, finding the impact structural response of a sandwich structure, by performing experiments, has disadvantages. First, impact is a complex problem with a multi-parameter nature and many factors should be considered. Secondly, it is a destructive test and the test subject may be damaged during the test. On the other hand, computer simulation based on a finite element code has advantages considering both the cost factor and technical issues associated with real tests.

The primary emphasis of this research is to establish the correlations between impact parameters and damage modes on sandwich structures using computer simulations. A finite element program, LS-DYNA, is used to perform impact simulations and to analyze results. A number of experiments are conducted to compare practical results with simulations.