ARCHIVES OF CIVIL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, vol.23, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Impact or sudden accelerations are strictly avoided by sensitive systems such as electronic devices, robotic structures and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In order to protect these systems, various composites have been developed in recent years. Due to its excellent energy absorbing capabilities as well as eco-friendly and sustainable properties, cork is one of promising materials dedicated to protective applications. In this study, we benefit from cork agglomerates in multi-layer design considering its advantages such as high flexural stiffness-to-weight ratio and good buckling resistance over monolithic structures. In addition, a non-Newtonian material, namely shear thickening fluid (STF) was incorporated in this design. STF shows rapid increase in its viscosity under loading and thereby enabling a stiffer texture that contributes to protective performance. At rest state, STF exhibit fluidic behavior and provides flexibility for composite. In the experimental stage, deceleration behavior of these composites was investigated. According to the analyses, STF exhibits promising results to lower peak decelerations while extending time period of deceleration under impact loading. STF contribution is pronounced by using this material in a closed medium such as in wrapped foam to avoid spilling out of composite during impact. The designed eco-friendly smart composites are suggested to cover internal parts in sensitive systems. Micro-mobility helmet is another prospective application area for cork/STF structures since they provide light-weight, excellent flexibility and good deceleration behavior.