With the exploration and exploitation of polar region, polar ship-ice interaction and impact resistance of ship structures under low temperature have attracted considerable attentions. In this paper, the dynamic responses of aluminum foam sandwich plates (AFSPs) under impact loadings at low temperature were experimentally investigated by using the drop tower with thermostatic test chamber. Experimental results showed that the impact forces and deflections of AFSPs increased proportionately with the increase of impact velocities. The increments of the deflection of the front-face sheet and back-face sheet, as well as the compression of the aluminum core reduced as the repeated impact number increased.


With the exploitation of the arctic passage and exploration of resources in arctic regions, the demands of polar ships increase dramatically. When polar ships travel in ice region, the ship structures may be suffered from repeated impact loadings such as ice floes, which may lead to sever damages on the ship structures. On the other hand, the polar ships should have enough capacity to store subsistence goods for everyday life of the Crew as well as other polar resources, which results in the polar ships should be lightweight and have excellent impact resistance at low temperature to perform the polar expedition tasks successfully.

Aluminum foam can be referred as a green material with unique and unbeatable combination of properties, such as lightweight, high strength, excellent corrosion resistance and recyclability (Crupi, Epasto and Guglielmino, 2013). Therefore, the aluminium foam sandwich plates (AFSPs) composed of front-face and back-face sheets as well as aluminium foam cores possess potential engineering applications in polar ships and marine structures to improve their capacity and structural safety.

In order to promote the engineering application of AFSPs in polar ships and marine structures, two essential factors on AFSPs should pay much more attention, namely low temperature and repeated impact. The effects of temperature on the quasi-static mechanical properties of the aluminum foam were investigated by using MTS810 (Li, Zheng, Yu and Tang, 2012). Moreover, the dynamic properties of aluminum foam at different temperatures were studied by using the Hopkinson bar (Wang, Xu, Li, Yang, Zheng and Hu, 2014). Results showed that the plastic collapse strength as well as the energy absorption will gradually decrease as the increase of the test temperature both under quasi-static compression and dynamic impact. The impact performance of aluminium foam sandwich panels at low temperature was experimentally investigated by using the drop tower INSTRON 9350 (Zhu, Guo, Li, Yu and Zhou, 2016). Experimental results showed that as a protective structure AFSP has excellent energy absorption capability compared with a mild steel plate of the same weight and the energy absorption capacity of aluminium foam sandwich panels at low temperature remained excellent.

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