The paper presents the results of an experimental campaign devoted to investigate energy absorption during impact and its dependence on some relevant design parameters, such as material system, laminate thickness and laminate lay-up. Three different material systems were investigated, carbon/epoxy, kevlar/epoxy and glass/epoxy, and four stacking sequences [0]8, [0/45]2s, [0]12 and [0/45]3s. A total of 11 different configurations were considered, including a hybrid glass-carbon-kevlar/epoxy laminate. Low velocity impact tests were carried out on flat samples at several energy levels from barely visible damage up to penetration, according to ASTM 5628 standard. The penetration energy is pointed out as a key-parameter in determining the absorption capability of a laminate.

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