This paper deals with the comparative study on the energy absorbing behaviour of the flexible composites with that of stiff composites aiming at automobile cladding application. Two types of composites namely Jute-Epoxy (JE) laminate and Jute-Rubber-Jute (JRJ) sandwich are chosen for the purpose of study under impact velocity varying from 2.5 m/s to 10 m/s. The study is carried out using commercially available finite element simulation software. The energy absorption and damage behavior of both the composites are studied. From the results, it was found that JRJ sandwich absorbs almost 54%, 51.2%, 58.1% and 61.78% more energy compared to JE laminate for impact velocity of 2.5 m/s, 5 m/s, 7.5 m/s and 10 m/s respectively and exhibits compliant nature as opposed to JE laminate which exhibits brittle nature. The energy absorption ratio of JRJ sandwich is more compared to JE laminate. Thus, the JRJ sandwich composites are expected to provide better energy absorption, reduce damage propagation under low velocity impact, thereby making them a potential material for automobile structural protective claddings.

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