Theoretical and experimental analysis for the impact response of glass fibre reinforced aluminium honeycomb sandwiches
Honeycomb sandwich structures are increasingly used in the automotive, aerospace and shipbuilding industries where fuel savings, increase in load carrying capacity, vehicle safety and decrease in gas emissions are very important aspects. The aim of this study was to develop the theoretical methods, initially proposed by the authors and by other researchers for the prediction of low-velocity impact responses of sandwich structures. The developed methods were applied to sandwich structures with aluminium honeycomb cores and glass-epoxy facings for the assessment of impact parameters and for the prediction of limit loads. The values of model parameters were compared with data reported in literature and the predictions of the limit loads were validated by means of the experimental data. Good achievement was obtained between the results of the theoretical models and the experimental data. The failure mode and the internal damage of the sandwich panels have been investigated using 3D computed tomography, which allowed the evaluation of parameters of energy balance model, and infrared thermography, which allowed the detection of the temperature evolution of the specimens during the tests. The experimental and theoretical results demonstrated that the use of glass-epoxy reinforcement on aluminium honeycomb sandwiches enhances the energy absorption and load carrying capacities. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.