Sustainable High Energy Absorbing Lightweight Material Development (SHIELD)

Abstract

This project aims to develop a new generation of sustainable, recyclable, lightweight materials which will offer significantly improved energy absorption and shock mitigation capabilities under dynamic impact and shock/blast loading at reduced economic cost. Methods of designing and manufacturing structural components incorporating the novel material will also be developed, leading to improved safety and protection in a range of sectors. The proposed material is a syntactic foam based on a stochastic dispersion of porous recycled glass particles dispersed in a recycled and/or bio-based polymer matrix. The focus will be on developing a fully recycled and recyclable material. To optimise materials performance, particularly energy absorption, novel multi-scale materials models (using explicit FEA methods) will be developed and used during the materials design stage of the programme. This will be supported by experimental characterisation of rate dependent properties and failure mechanisms. A new soft processing technique will be developed that avoids damage to the glass particles and degradation of the polymer. Multi-material sandwich structures, comprising the recyclable syntactic foam core and glass-reinforced thermoplastic composite skins, will also be developed, again with full recyclability being a goal. To address multi-sector use, three demonstrator parts will be developed: an anti-blast panel for military/civilian vehicles and infrastructure applications; a generic medium velocity shaped impact structure for in-vehicle occupant protection; and a high impact thermoplastic composite sandwich panel for truck bodies.

Publications

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