Experimental and Analytical Study on the Mechanical Behavior of Stitched Sandwich Composite Panel with a Foam Core
To quantify the effect of structural through-thickness reinforcement in foam core sandwich composite panels, an experimental study was carried out which included three-point bending tests, core shear tests, flatwise tensile and compression tests, as well as edgewise compression tests. Standard test procedures based on ASTM guidelines are followed to test the behavior of the stitched panels with reinforcement at 90 degree orientation with respect to the sandwich faces. The test specimens were manufactured by using polyurethane foam Rohacell 71 IG and carbon fiber reinforced composite facesheets. The dry perform facesheets and foam core were then assembled in a dry lay-up already stitched. Kevlar 29 yarn was used to stitch both sets of panels. The results showed a significant effect of the stitching on the in-plane Young’s modulus which was attributed to local displacements of the in-plane fibers and changes in the fiber volume fraction. Stitching of sandwich panels significantly increases the maximum failure loads under flexure, core shear, flatwise tensile, flatwise compression, and edgewise compression loading. A finite element based unit-cell model was developed to estimate the elastic constants of structurally stitched foam core sandwich composite panels taking into consideration the yarn diameter, the stitching pattern and direction as well as the load direction. Depending on these parameters, local changes of the fiber volume fraction as well as regions with undisturbed and disturbed fiber orientations within the laminate plies are taken into account. A good match between the finite element modeling and the experimental data was obtained. The present work should be considered as a step towards developing a more sophisticated numerical model capable of describing mechanical behavior of sandwich structures.
Wei Yang, Mamtimin Geni, Tiejun Wang and Zhuo Zhuang
X. T. Zheng et al., "Experimental and Analytical Study on the Mechanical Behavior of Stitched Sandwich Composite Panel with a Foam Core", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 33-37, pp. 477-482, 2008