An Experimental Investigation on Composites Through-The-Thickness Stitched Foam Core Sandwich Panels


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This study explored the feasibility and potential benefits provided by the addition of through-the-thickness reinforcement to foam core sandwich structures. Through-the-thickness stitching is proposed to increase the interlaminar strength and damage tolerance of composite sandwich structures. A low-cost, out-of-autoclave processing method was developed to produce composite sandwich panels with carbon fiber face sheets, a closed-cell foam core, and through-the-thickness Kevlar stitching. The sandwich panels were stitched in a dry preform state, vacuum bagged, and infiltrated using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) processing. For comparison purposes, unstitched sandwich panels were produced using the same materials and manufacturing methodology. Five types of mechanical tests were performed: flexural testing, flatwise tensile and compression testing, core shear testing, and edgewise compression testing. Drop-weight impact testing followed by specimen sectioning was performed to characterize the damage resistance of stitched sandwich panels. Compression after impact (CAI) testing was performed to evaluate the damage tolerance of the sandwich panels. Results show significant increases in the flexural stiffness and strength, out-of-plane tensile strength, core shear strength, edgewise compression strength, and compression-after-impact strength of stitched sandwich structures.



Key Engineering Materials (Volumes 353-358)

Edited by:

Yu Zhou, Shan-Tung Tu and Xishan Xie




Q. Sun et al., "An Experimental Investigation on Composites Through-The-Thickness Stitched Foam Core Sandwich Panels", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 353-358, pp. 1443-1446, 2007

Online since:

September 2007




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