Analysis of the mechanical response of impact loaded composite sandwich structures with focus on foam core shear failure

Science-Report aus dem Faserinstitut Bremen, Bd. 9

Tim Berend Block

ISBN 978-3-8325-3853-8
237 pages, year of publication: 2014
price: 55.00 €
Analysis of the mechanical response of impact loaded composite sandwich structures with focus on foam core shear failure
Sandwich structures are an economically and structurally efficient way of designing large integral composite parts. In the aerospace industry pre-impregnated face sheets and honeycomb core structures can be considered as industry standard while e.g. naval structures and wind turbine blades typically use vacuum infusion technology with polymer foam cores. Application of the less costly infusion technology in the aeronautical industry requires a thorough understanding of the damage tolerance including low velocity impact as a frequent source of damaging events.

At low impact energies damage in composite foam core sandwich structures is limited to core crushing and local face sheet delaminations. Higher impact energies may initiate the competing failure modes face sheet rupture and core shear failure depending on impact, geometric and material parameters. Face sheet rupture leads to severe local damage with typically good visibility, while core shear failure leads to cracks and rear face sheet debonding of the foam core with less visibility.

This work investigates the low velocity impact response of sandwich structures with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) face sheets and a polymeric foam core using experiments at room temperature and at -55° Celsius. An analytically derived failure mode map is presented as a simple tool for design guidelines while the explicit finite element method is applied for a more detailed description of the sandwich impact process. Both models are used to analyze the impact response and describe relevant sensitivity parameters of sandwich structures.

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Table of contents (PDF)


  • Composite Materials
  • Low Velocity Impact
  • Sandwich Structures
  • Core Shear Failure
  • Finite Element Analysis


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