Fabrication and Structural Performance of Random Wetlay Composite Sandwich Panels
Glenn, Christopher Edward
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The random wetlay process is used to make fiber-reinforced thermoplastic sheets that can be compression molded into composite panels at little cost. By utilizing these composite panels as the facesheets of honeycomb sandwich structures, it is possible to greatly increase the bending stiffness of the composite without adding significant weight. The random wetlay composite facesheets used in this research consisted of 25% E-glass fibers and 75% PET by weight. The thickness uniformity of the facesheets was difficult to control. The core of the sandwich structure was HexWeb&174; EM. Three low-cost adhesives were examined for secondarily bonding the facesheets to the core: polyurethane glue; epoxy paste; and 3M Scotch-Grip&174; plastic adhesive. The polyurethane glue mixed with Cab-O-Sil filler was easiest to apply and provided the largest flatwise tensile strength. Mathematical models were developed to predict the static behavior of sandwich beams and plates in bending. Three-point bend tests were performed on a sandwich beam in accordance with ASTM C 393. A sandwich plate simply supported along two opposite edges and free along the other two edges was subjected to a line-load using weights and a wiffle tree arrangement. An effective facesheet modulus and Poissonâ s ratio were found by comparing the measured displacements to the sandwich plate theory. The shadow moirÃ© technique was used to visualize the displacement of the line-loaded sandwich plate. The overall shape of the displacement was very similar to the shape predicted by the sandwich plate theory.
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