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This paper describes the results of an experimental and numerical investigation of the impact behavior of short carbon fiber reinforced polyether-ether-ketone (SCFR PEEK) composites. The biocompatibility of PEEK and its short fiber composites, their rapid processing by injection molding and suitability for modern imaging have supported technological advances in prosthetic implants used in orthopedic medicine. Surgical implants, including hip and cranial implants, can experience clinically significant impact loading during medical installation and useful life. While the incorporation of short fibers in a thermoplastic matrix can produce significant improvements in stiffness and strength, it can also cause a marked reduction in ductility, making study of their energy absorption capability essential. In this work, the mechanical impact behavior of PEEK composites reinforced with polyacrylonitrile (PAN) short carbon fibers 30% in weight is compared with unfilled PEEK. The perforation tests conducted covered an impact kinetic energy range from 21 J to 131 J, equivalent to the range observed in a fall, the leading cause of hip fractures. Energy absorption capability, damage extension and failure mechanism have been quantified and reported. A numerical modeling that includes homogenization of elastic material and anisotropic damage is presented and validated with experimental data. At all impact energies, SCFR PEEK composites showed a brittle failure and their absorption energy capability decreases drastically in comparison with unfilled PEEK. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.