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Performance comparison of resin-infused thermoplastic and thermoset 3D fabric composites under impact loadingIn this paper, the impact performance of a novel resin-infused acrylic thermoplastic matrix-based 3D glass fabric composite (3D-FRC) has been evaluated and compared with thermoset based 3D-FRC under single as well as recurring strike low velocity impact (LVI) events. The single impact tests revealed that the thermoplastic-based 3D-FRC exhibits up to 45% reduced damage area and can have up to 20% higher impact load-bearing capacity (peak force). The damage mode characterization showed that damage transition energy required for micro to macro damage transition is 27% higher, and back face damage extension is up to 3 times less for thermoplastic-based 3D-FRC. Meanwhile, the recurring strike impact test highlights that the thermoplastic-based 3D-FRC experiences a 50% less damaged area, better structural integrity, and survived more strikes. The comparison of single and repeated LVI tests have also allowed us to present a design criterion for estimating the safe number of repeated LVI events for a given impact energy. The superior impact resistance of thermoplastic-based 3D-FRC is attributed to their higher interlaminar fracture toughness, a tougher fiber-matrix interface, matrix ductility, and unique failure mechanism of yarn straining, which is not present in thermoset composites.