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The influence of low energy impacts on the static and dynamic response of a foam core composite wing
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This work describes damage detection efforts on a composite wing subject to a series of low-energy (ĝ̂1/47 J) impacts. Two airfoils with fundamentally different damage scenarios were considered. The first damage scenario produced no visible signs of damage on the wing surface following eight impacts. A duplicate wing, subjected to a similar series of impacts, was investigated using flash thermography and subsequently autopsied. The flash thermography showed small, localized damage in the skin, but gave no information about core damage. The autopsy showed core/skin disbonding at both interfaces that varied with the number of impacts, core crushing, and a through the core shear crack. No clear changes to the static or dynamic wing response were observed for this scenario. The second damage scenario involved cracking of the wing skin. While damage quantification was not undertaken for this scenario, both static and dynamic changes in wing response were observed. An analytical model of the wing is presented which helps explain the observed behaviors of the two damage scenarios.