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Impact Response of a Randomly Oriented Fiber Foam Core Sandwich Panel



It has been shown that glass fiber reinforced polyurethane foam (GRPUF) can haveimproved mechanical properties under specific strain rates and fiber volumes. But its performance as a core in a composite sandwich structure has not been fully investigated. This study explored different manufacturing techniques for the GRPUF using existing literature as a guideline. Its mechanical properties were determined using a three-point bend test and compared to unreinforced polyurethane foam. Flexural bend test showed that introducing chopped glass fibers made the GRPUF samples stronger yet more brittle. While quasi-static compression tests showed a decreased in performance with GRPUF. Both results can be attributed, in part, to inconsistent densities and void content resulting from the manufacturing process. Future work will include integration of the GRPUF in a foam core sandwich panelto investigate its response to low and high velocity impact of up to 103 s-1 strain rates. The ultimate goal is to explore a cost-effective alternative to existing, cost prohibitive, composite sandwich structures.

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