An instrumented tensile impact test system with partial loading capabilities has been developed and tested. Hardware development included a low mass gripping system for tensile impact and a vibration-damped base and load cell. A standard pendulum type impact testing machine was modified for use. The rate sensitive material properties of unidirectional glass/epoxy and graphite/epoxy composite materials were investigated. The micromechanics of fracture within the composite caused by impact were studied, using partially loaded impact test specimens and scanning electron microscopy.
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