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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2017, Article ID 7638482, 15 pages
Research Article

Experimental Investigation and Discrete Element Modelling of Composite Hollow Spheres Subjected to Dynamic Fracture

Arts et Métiers ParisTech, I2M-DuMAS, UMR 5295 CNRS, Esplanade des Arts et Métiers, 33400 Talence, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Arthur Coré; rf.evil@eroc.ruhtra

Received 23 March 2017; Accepted 10 May 2017; Published 6 June 2017

Academic Editor: Filippo Berto

Copyright © 2017 Arthur Coré et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper deals with the characterization and the numerical modelling of the collapse of composite hollow spherical structures developed to absorb energy during high velocity impacts. The structure is composed of hollow spheres ( mm) made of epoxy resin and mineral powder. First of all, quasi-static and dynamic ( mm·min−1 to  m·s−1) compression tests are conducted at room temperature on a single sphere to study energy dissipation mechanisms. Fracture of the material appears to be predominant. A numerical model based on the discrete element method is investigated to simulate the single sphere crushing. The stress-strain-time relationship of the material based on the Ree-Eyring law is numerically implemented. The DEM modelling takes naturally into account the dynamic fracture and the crack path computed is close to the one observed experimentally in uniaxial compression. Eventually, high velocity impacts ( m·s−1) of a hollow sphere on a rigid surface are conducted with an air cannon. The numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental data and demonstrate the ability of the present model to correctly describe the mechanical behavior of brittle materials at high strain rate.