A Computational Approach in Understanding the Low-Velocity Impact Behavior and Damage of 3D-Printed Polymer Lattice Structures

Document Type


Publication Date



107515029 (Orcid)


The remarkable mechanical characteristics of sandwich lattice structures have attracted the attention of many researchers and make it a good candidate for various applications. However, there is limited published research concerning the development of general-purpose dynamic models mimicking the impact behavior of lattice configurations made from polymeric materials. As such, the main focus of this research is to develop efficient computational finite element models simulating the dynamic impact behavior of various lattice configurations embedded in sandwich panels that are made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) material. In this case, the sandwich panel consists of a 3D-printed polymer lattice core covered with the skin of a Kevlar sheet. Four designs with different configurations of lattice structures were investigated experimentally in previous studies. The first configuration was the basic body centered cubic (BCC) with unit cell dimensions of 5 mm × 5 mm × 5 mm, and a strut diameter of 1 mm. The second configuration was produced by adding the vertical struts at alternative nodes layer by layer, referred to as BCCA. The third configuration was created by adding the struts with uniform gradient distributions, termed as BCCG. The last configuration was designed by adding vertical struts at all nodes on the BCC configuration, denoted as BCCV. In this research, the FEA software ABAQUS Explicit was used to model all four configurations under low-velocity impact loads. Then, the results from the FEA modeling of the four different sandwich structures were compared with the experimental observations. Significantly, the good agreement in the results between the FEA and the experimental work reveals the capability of the developed models to capture the dynamic impact behavior of various lattice configurations and is considered the main contribution of the current research. In addition, in situ deformation along with failure mechanisms, detailed information, visualization, and sufficient data of the lattice impact test has been obtained through the developed models. This in turn leads to saving human time and effort, providing better realization and deep analysis of impact deformation behavior reducing the size of the experimental work and the expenses associated with it.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users