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Title: Dynamic impact behavior of syntactic foam core sandwich composites
Authors: Breunig, P.
Damodaran, V.
Shahapurkar, K.
Waddar, S.
Doddamani, M.
Jeyaraj, P.
Prabhakar, P.
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Journal of Composite Materials, 2020, Vol.54, 4, pp.535-547
Abstract: Sandwich composites and syntactic foams independently have been used in many engineering applications. However, there has been minimal effort towards taking advantage of the weight saving ability of syntactic foams in the cores of sandwich composites, especially with respect to the impact response of structures. To that end, the goal of this study is to investigate the mechanical response and damage mechanisms associated with syntactic foam core sandwich composites subjected to dynamic impact loading. In particular, this study investigates the influence of varying cenosphere volume fraction in syntactic foam core sandwich composites subjected to varying dynamic impact loading and further elucidates the extent and diversity of corresponding damage mechanisms. The syntactic foam cores are first fabricated using epoxy resin as the matrix and cenospheres as the reinforcement with four cenosphere volume fractions of 0% (pure epoxy), 20%, 40%, and 60%. The sandwich composite panels are then manufactured using the vacuum assisted resin transfer molding process with carbon fiber/vinyl ester facesheets. Dynamic impact tests are performed on the sandwich composite specimens at two energy levels of 80 J and 160 J, upon which the data are post-processed to gain a quantitative understanding of the impact response and damage mechanisms incurred by the specimens. A qualitative understanding is obtained through micro-computed tomography scanning of the impacted specimens. In addition, a finite element model is developed to investigate the causes for different damage mechanisms observed in specimens with different volume fractions. The Author(s) 2019.
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