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Lecture 6

The sandwich effect


Lecture 6
FAILURE MODES IN SANDWICH STRUCTURES
Sandwich panels can fail in several ways
The faces and core can yield plastically or fracture depending on
the nature of the materials from which they are made.
Each of failures giving one constraint on the load bearing
capacity of the sandwich
Depending on the geometry of the sandwich and the loading,
different failure modes become critical and hence set the limits for
the performance of the structure
The most common failure modes in sandwich structures are
schematically illustrated in Figure 7.1
Lecture 6
FAILURE MODES IN SANDWICH STRUCTURES
1. Face yielding fracture

2. Core shear failure

3. Face wrinkling

4. General buckling

5. Shear Crimpling

6. Local indentation
Lecture 6
FAILURE MODES IN SANDWICH STRUCTURES
Lecture 6
FAILURE MODES IN SANDWICH STRUCTURES
Face yielding fracture
Depending on the materials used and on the chosen fracture
criterion one will consider the face and the core to have failed
either if yielding occurs or if the component has actually
fractured
Hence for every material component there will be a maximum
allowed stress, whether this stress is a yield or a fracture stress
The criterion for failure is then when the maximum stress in
the component reaches the allowable stress

Lecture 6
The maximum principal stress in the faces of a panel is according
to Mohrs circle of stress;
2
1
2
2
2 2
(
(

+
|
|
.
|

\
|

+
+
=
fxy
fy fx fy fx
f
t
o o o o
o
Since in the face sheet we have that o
z
=o
xz
=o
yz
=0. In fact, the
direct stresses in the faces are usually orders of magnitude
higher than the shear stress in the core and faces.
For a sandwich beam subjected to bending the failure criterion
can be reduced to
fy
y
fy y
fy fx
x
fx x
fx
D
zE M
D
zE M
o o o o

direction - y in and

> = > =
Lecture 6
A similar criterion could be stated for the core, but such a failure
criterion is very seldom used since most core materials have
higher yield and fracture strain than the faces, implying that
tensile and compressive failure or yielding will occur in the faces
long before anything happens to the core.

If the load is in-plane tension or compression, the criterion is
simply
fy fy fx fx
o o o o

and

> >
Lecture 6
FAILURE MODES IN SANDWICH STRUCTURES
Core shear failure
The core material is mainly subjected to shear and carries almost
the entire transverse force
However, the direct stresses in the core could be of the same
magnitude as the shear stresses
The maximum transverse shear stress in the core is
2
1
2
1
2
2
2
2
2
and
2
(
(

+
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
(
(

+
|
.
|

\
|
=
cyz
cy
cyz cxz
cx
cxz
t
o
t t
o
t
Lecture 6
Which is used as a fracture criterion
The allowable could now also be either a yield or a fracture stress
Assuming a beam with a weak core, E
c
<< E
f
, then o
cx
= o
cy
= 0 and
the maximum shear stress can be written as
cyz
y
cyz cxz
x
cxz
d
T
d
T
t t t t

and > = > =
Lecture 6 Face wrinkling
Face wrinkling can in practical cases occur in a sandwich either when
subjected to an in-plane compressive buckling or in the compressive
face during bending, or in combination of those.
The criterion stating that wrinkling will occur in a face when the
compressive stress in that face reaches the wrinkling stress suggested
as follows;
3 3
5 . 0 5 . 0
cy cy fy fy cx cx fx fx
G E E and G E E = = o o
Lecture 6
Face wrinkling
The actual failure can occur in two ways:
a. A wrinkle that becomes unstable causes an indentation in the
core if the compressive strength of the core is lower than the
tensile strength of the core and adhesive joint
b. The wrinkle causes a tensile fracture if the tensile strength of
the core or the adhesive joint is lower than the compressive
strength of the core
Lecture 6
FAILURE MODES IN SANDWICH STRUCTURES
Altough buckling itself sometimes does not damage a
structure, it must still be avoided since s structure which
has buckled may have lost its capability of fulfilling its
purpose
The actual buckling load may also be the ultimate load
bearing capacity of the sandwich since in its buckled
shape it may not sustain any more load
Lecture 6
Shear Crimping
The shear crimping failure is actually the same as the limit
of the general buckling mode.
The critical face stress is hence
f
f
t
S
2
= o
Lecture 6
Face Dimpling
Another instability phenomenon that may occur in sandwich
structures with honeycomb or corrugated cores is dimpling
or intercellular buckling
For a square cell honeycomb this buckling stress equals

3 . 0 for 5 . 2 =
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
f
f
f f
a
t
E v o
Lecture 6
Core Indentation
Indentation of the core occurs at concentrated loads, such
as fittings, corners, or joints.

Practically they can be avoided by applying the load over
sufficiently large area
This area can be roughly estimated;
cz
P
A
o

=
Lecture 6
Typical mechanical properties of face materials
Lecture 6
Cell Configuration for Honeycomb core