The indentation behaviour of sandwich panels is significant to incipient damage and is known to be affected by a number of dominant parameters. However, it is challenging not only to demonstrate how those few dominant parameters influence the indentation behaviour but also to ascertain that such influence was coupled to the variation of the other dominant parameters. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
In this work, the authors adopted a controllable quasi-static testing to carry out a diagnostic interrogation on the nature of incipient damage in laminate-skinned sandwich panels using hemispherical indenter and used photographs taken from the cross-sections of all the cut-up tested specimens, which were stopped both just before and after the initial critical loads, respectively, to confirm the mechanism of the incipient damage. Sandwich panels with aluminium honeycomb core had carbon/epoxy skins of two different thicknesses and lay-ups and hemispherical nosed indenter had three different diameters.
The authors found that: the incipient damage mechanism in all the panels was combined delamination in the skin and core crushing without debonding; doubling the skin thickness had the significant enhancement on critical load and indentation and this enhancement became greater for the larger indenter diameters; the indenter diameter had the moderate effect on critical load in the thick panels from 8 to 14 mm but had the negligible effect on thin panels and no effect on the thick panels from 14 to 20 mm; varying the skin lay-up or support had little effect on the indentation behaviour.
These findings were limited to the constant core density and core thickness. Varying the former significantly could alter the findings accordingly.
The results of this work should be tremendously useful to design and analysis in industrial applications of sandwich structures in aircraft, vehicles, marine vessels and transport carriages for situations involving localised loading and deformation.
The results of this research work is one of the very few that demonstrated a systematic understanding of the indentation behaviour characteristics of sandwich construction, which is vital to the establishment of indentation law for sandwich structures in future.
Zhicheng Wang on leave from Shanghai Research Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, China helped with some experimental work and redrew Figure 1.
Zhou, G., Zhang, B. and Pasricha, A. (2017), "A study of indentation behaviour of sandwich panels supported rigidly", International Journal of Structural Integrity, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 439-451. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSI-01-2016-0004Download as .RIS
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