Experimental, theoretical and numerical investigation of the flexural behaviour of the composite sandwich panels with PVC foam core

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Mostafa, A, Shankar, K & Morozov, EV 2014, Applied Composite Materials, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 661-675.

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This study presents the main results of an experimental, theoretical and numerical investigation on the flexural behaviour and failure mode of composite sandwich panels primarily developed for marine applications. The face sheets of the sandwich panels are made up of glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP), while polyvinylchloride (PVC) foam was used as core material. Four-point bending test was carried out to investigate the flexural behaviour of the sandwich panel under quasi static load. The finite element (FE) analysis taking into account the cohesive nature of the skin-core interaction as well as the geometry and materials nonlinearity was performed, while a classical beam theory was used to estimate the flexural response. Although the FE results accurately represented the initial and post yield flexural response, the theoretical one restricted to the initial response of the sandwich panel due to the linearity assumptions. Core shear failure associate with skin-core debonding close to the loading points was the dominant failure mode observed experimentally and validated numerically and theoretically.

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