Failure of polymer-based sandwich composites under shock loading

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In recent times, studies of structural response to air blast and underwater shock have gained significant importance. The current chapter focuses on the experimental observations of resistance of different composite material systems of naval importance to air blast loadings. These material systems include traditional two dimensional (2D) woven laminated composites, layered composites and sandwich composite materials. A controlled blast loading of pre-defined pressure magnitude and rise time was obtained using a shock tube apparatus. Rectangular plate elements representing various material systems were subjected to such a controlled blast loading, and the effect of the blast loading on these elements was studied using optical and residual strength measurements. A high-speed imaging technique was utilized to study the damage modes and mechanisms in real time. It was observed that layering a conventional composite material with a soft visco-elastic polymer provided better blast resistance; sandwiching the polymer greatly enhanced its survivability under extreme air blast conditions. In addition, three dimensional (3D) woven skin and core reinforcements were introduced in the conventional sandwich composites and their effects on the blast resistance were studied experimentally. These reinforcements were also observed to enhance the blast resistance of conventional sandwich composites by changing the mechanism of failure initiation and propagation in these sandwich structures. © 2010 Springer-Verlag US.

Publication Title

Dynamic Failure of Materials and Structures