Three-dimensional finite transient deformations of polycarbonate (PC) panels impacted at low velocity by a hemispherical-nosed rigid cylinder have been studied by using the commercial finite element software ls-dyna with a thermo–elasto–viscoplastic material model for the PC incorporated in it as a user defined subroutine. The implementation of the subroutine has been verified by comparing analytical and numerical solutions of simple initial-boundary-value problems. The mathematical model of the low velocity impact problem has been validated by comparing the computed and the experimental results for the maximum deflection and time histories of the centroidal deflection. It is found that the initial slope of the reaction force between the impactor and the panel versus the indentation for a curved panel can be nearly 20 times that for the flat panel of the same thickness as the curved panel. For the impact velocities considered, it is found that the maximum effective plastic strain in the PC shell near the center of impact and the dominant deformation mode there strongly depend on the panel curvature, the panel thickness, and the impact speed. Effects of the panel curvature, the panel thickness, and the impact speed on stresses and strains developed in a panel are delineated. This information should help designers of impact resistant transparent panels such as an airplane canopy, automobile windshield, and goggles. However, damage initiation and propagation, and the final indentation induced in the clamped panels have not been computed.

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