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This paper presents and analyzes the behavior of bumper beams made of PLA/flax composites subjected to low velocity impacts. The relevance of this material resides in the biodegradability of both fibers and matrix. Moreover, the after-impact behavior of this composite is excellent due to the absence of delamination. Impact tests have been performed using a drop weight tower within the range of impact energies 5 J ≤ Eimp ≤ 73 J. The experimental setup enabled the measuring of impact velocity, residual velocity, load-time history and failure mode. Results show that damage generated during impact produces a significant reduction of residual stiffness but the residual strength is not affected by damage generated in the range of the applied impact energies considered.
biocomposite; bumper; energy absorption; natural fibers