Damping during impact loading of gas-filled composites can occur because of heat transport between the compressed gas and the solid structure of the composite. This “thermal damping” can be optimized so as to dissipate a significant fraction of the impact energy. It is suggested that damping in many common structures such as plastic foams and wood may under certain conditions be largely due to this mechanism. Calculations based on a heat transport model show the effects on thermal damping of certain geometrical and thermal properties of the composite and of the mass and velocity of the impacting mass.

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