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Facesheet to Core Interface Characterization of Sandwich Structures



An important failure mode in sandwich structures is the debonding between the core and facesheet, which can destroy the load capacity of the structure. This work addresses the critical interfacial modes and studied the effects of thickness variation of the core material. The single cantilever beam (SCB) geometry is adopted for conducting experiments after optimizing the thicknesses of the core and facesheet by minimizing the difference in the bending stiffness matrix between the upper facesheet and the lower facesheet/core combination. Two samples of single cantilever beam, having two different core material thicknesses, were tested. The experimental results showed that the critical energy release rate could be influenced by core thickness variations. Furthermore, the cohesive zone method and elastic-plastic core material model in conjunction with fracture criteria were used to model the entire structure failure response. The validation results predicted load/extension curves in full agreement with actual tests for both specimen SCB geometries. The model also had the ability to predict the crack initiation in the core materials which occurred under the interface zone as in the actual test. In addition, the mixed-mode ratios through the interface area were analyzed as function of crack length.

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