Experimental tests have been performed to examine the response of small-scale stiffened plates laterally punched by a wedge. The specimens are supported at two opposite edges and the indenter is located at the mid-span. In the unsupported edges, the ends of the stiffeners are either connected to transverse stiffeners or remain free. The obtained force-displacement responses show a good agreement with the simulations performed by the LS-DYNA finite element solver. The finite element model includes defining the experimental boundary condition so as to simulate small axial displacements of the specimen at the supports. The strain hardening of the material is defined using experimental data of quasi-static tension tests and the critical failure strain is evaluated using tensile test simulations. The results show that the response of the specimens is highly sensitive to the amount of restraint provided at the supports. In addition, simplified calculations are proposed to evaluate the contribution of each structural component on the energy absorbed by the stiffened plate specimens.

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