Vol. 4, No. 7-8, 2009

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Influence of core properties on the failure of composite sandwich beams

Isaac M. Daniel

Vol. 4 (2009), No. 7-8, 1271–1286
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The initiation of failure in composite sandwich beams is heavily dependent on properties of the core material. Several core materials, including PVC foams and balsa wood were characterized. The various failure modes occurring in composite sandwich beams are described and their relationship to the relevant core properties is explained and discussed. Under flexural loading of sandwich beams, plastic yielding or cracking of the core occurs when the critical yield stress or strength (usually shear) of the core is reached. Indentation under localized loading depends principally on the square root of the core yield stress. The critical stress for facesheet wrinkling is related to the core Young’s and shear moduli in the thickness direction. Experimental mechanics methods were used to illustrate the failure modes and verify analytical predictions.

sandwich structures, core materials, experimental methods, characterization, failure modes, strength
Received: 17 March 2009
Accepted: 18 June 2009
Published: 26 December 2009
Isaac M. Daniel
Departments of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
Northwestern University
2137 Tech Drive
Evanston, IL, 60208-3020
United States