Performance of functionally graded sandwich composite beams under shock wave loading

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The dynamic behavior of sandwich composites made of E-Glass Vinyl-Ester (EVE) facesheets and graded Corecell™ A-series foam was studied using a shock tube apparatus. The foam core was monotonically graded based on increasing acoustic wave impedance, with the foam core layer of lowest wave impedance facing the blast. The specimen dimensions were held constant for all core configurations, while the number of core layers varied, resulting in specimens with one layer, two layer, three layer, and four layers of foam core gradation. Prior to shock tube testing, the quasi-static and dynamic constitutive behavior (compressive) of each type of foam was evaluated. During the shock tube testing, high-speed photography coupled with the optical technique of Digital Image Correlation (DIC) was utilized to capture the real-time deformation process as well as mechanisms of failure. Post-mortem analysis was also carried out to evaluate the overall blast performance of these configurations. The results indicated that increasing the number of monotonically graded foam core layers, thus reducing the acoustic wave impedance mismatch between successive layers, helped maintain structural integrity and increased the blast performance of the sandwich composite. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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Composite Structures