This paper presents the energy absorption properties of hexagonal honeycomb structures of varying cellular geometries to high speed in-plane impact. While the impact responses in terms of energy absorption and densification strains have been extensively researched and reported, a gap is identified in the generalization of honeycombs with controlled and varying geometric parameters. This paper attempts to address this gap through a series of finite element (FE) simulations where cell angle and angled wall thickness are varied while maintaining a constant mass of the honeycomb structure. A randomly filled, non-repeating Design of Experiments (DOE) is generated to determine the effects of these geometric parameters on the output of energy absorbed, and a statistical sensitivity analysis is used to determine the parameters significant for optimization. A high degree of variation in the impact response of varying cellular geometries has shown the potential for the forward design into lightweight crushing regions in many applications, particularly the automotive and aerospace industries. It is found that while an increase in angled wall thickness enhances the energy absorption of the structure, increases in either the cell angle or ratio of cell angle to angled wall thickness have adverse effects on the output. Finally, optimization results present that a slightly auxetic cellular geometry with maximum angled wall thickness provides for maximum energy absorption, which is verified with an 8% error when compared to a final FE simulation.

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