Compression tests were performed on damaged and undamaged rods and tubes made from unidirectional carbon/epoxy composite and lightweight core materials. Tested samples represent local members in an open, three-dimensional, composite lattice structure. Testing was performed in order to establish effective core materials to use in order to increase the buckling length of local IsoTruss® members while maintaining low weight. Members were formed from T700SC-12K-50C carbon fiber with UF6639-100 resin. Core materials consisted of 3/8-inch (0.953 cm) outside diameter Teflon® rods, Teflon® tubes, nylon rods, nylon tubes, Ertalyte® rods, and Duratron® rods. All 3/8-inch (0.953-cm) cores were each surrounded by 50 tows of carbon/epoxy prepreg. Control samples were also created with 50 carbon/epoxy prepreg tows. Half-inch (1.27 cm) outside diameter copper tubes were used as core materials for tubes consisting of 100 carbon/epoxy prepreg tows. Control samples to compare against samples with copper cores were also created with 100 tows of carbon/epoxy prepreg. Impact damage was inflicted using a cylindrical tup with 20 ft-lb impact energy.In undamaged specimens, nylon tube showed the highest structural efficiency. Nylon showed structural efficiencies much higher than other materials when comparing undamaged samples. In damaged specimens Ertalyte® rods showed the highest structural efficiency. Core stiffness appeared to control the level of absorbed impact energy with stiffer cores absorbing and dissipating more energy than softer equivalents during impact.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





carbon, fiber/epoxy composite, damage tolerance, IsoTruss®, compression strength after impact (CSAI), unidirectional, tube, rod, buckling, length, Southwell plot