Shock loading response of sandwich panels with 3-D woven E-glass composite skins and stitched foam core

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Sandwich composite are used in numerous structural applications, with demonstrated weight savings over conventional metals and solid composite materials. The increasing use of sandwich composites in defense structures, particularly those which may be exposed to shock loading, demands for a thorough understanding of their response to suc highly transient loadings. In order to fully utilize their potential in such extreme conditions, design optimization of the skin and core materials are desirable. The present study is performed for a novel type of sandwich material, TRANSONITE® made by pultrusion of 3-D woven 3WEAVE® E-glass fiber composites skin preforms integrally stitched to polyisocyanurate TRYMERTM 200L foam core. The effect of core stitching density on the transient response of three simply supported sandwich panels loaded in a shock tube is experimentally studied in this work. The experimental program is focused on recording dynamic transient response by high-speed camera and post-mortem evaluation of imparted damage. The obtained experimental results reveal new important features of the transient deformation, damage initiation and progression and final failure of sandwich composites with unstitched and stitched foam cores. The theoretical study includes full 3-D dynamic transient analysis of displacement, strain and stress fields under experimentally recorded surface shock pressure, performed with the use of 3-D MOSAIC analysis approach. The obtained theoretical and experimental results for the transient central deflections in unstitched and two stitched foam core sandwiches are mutually compared. The comparison results reveal large discrepancies in the case of unstitched sandwich, much smaller discrepancies in the case of intermediate stitching density, and excellent agreement between theoretical and experimental results for the sandwich with the highest stitching density. The general conclusion is that further comprehensive experimental and theoretical studies are required in order to get a thorough understanding of a very complex behavior of composite sandwiches under shock wave loading. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Composites Science and Technology