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Selim GRGEN, Mehmet Alper SOFUOLU
 


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ANTI-IMPACT PROPERTIES OF SMART CORK STRUCTURES
 
Anti-impact properties are essentially important for protective structures while reduced weight is another criterion for these systems. Due to the lightweight structure and advanced energy absorbing capabilities, cork panels have been investigated in protective systems. In addition to the excellent impact resistance, cork panels provide environmentally-friendly behavior for green designs in engineering applications. This natural product is adapted to various systems under low-velocity impact conditions such as helmets, vests, elbow and knee-pads. In the present work, we investigated the anti-impact behavior of cork panels by measuring the impact force response. The cork panels were composed of cork granules molded by polyurethane (PU) binder. In addition to the neat cork structures, a non-Newtonian suspension was integrated into the cork panels for further improvement in the impact performance. This advanced suspension was synthesized by mixing nano-size silica particles in a chemically inert liquid medium, polyethylene glycol (PEG). This mixture shows an increasing viscosity profile under loading and reduces its viscosity to the initial lower values upon removing the loading from the medium. For this reason, this suspension presents a contribution for energy attenuation during impact. According to the results, the smart fluid adapted cork composites provide lower impact force in comparison to the neat cork panels.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Impact performance, cork, smart systems