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Mechanical behavior of a sandwich with corrugated GRP core: numerical modeling and experimental validation

  • Autori: Tumino, D.; Ingrassia, T.; Nigrelli, V.; Pitarresi, G.; Urso Miano, V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2014
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


In this work the mechanical behaviour of a core reinforced composite sandwich structure is studied. The sandwich employs a Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) orthotropic material for both the two external skins and the inner core web. In particular, the core is designed in order to cooperate with the GRP skins in membrane and flexural properties by means of the addition of a corrugated laminate into the foam core. An analytical model has been developed to replace a unit cell of this structure with an orthotropic equivalent thick plate that reproduces the in plane and out of plane behaviour of the original geometry. Different validation procedures have been implemented to verify the quality of the proposed method. At first a comparison has been performed between the analytical model and the original unit cell modelled with a Finite Element mesh. Elementary loading conditions are reproduced and results are compared. Once the reliability of the analytical model was assessed, this homogenised model was implemented within the formulation of a shell finite element. The goal of this step is to simplify the FE analysis of complex structures made of corrugated core sandwiches; in fact, by using the homogenised element, the global response of a real structure can be investigated only with the discretization of its mid-surface. Advantages are mainly in terms of time to solution saving and CAD modelling simplification. Last step is then the comparison between this FE model and experiments made on sandwich beams and panels whose skins and corrugated cores are made of orthotropic cross-ply GRP laminates. Good agreement between experimental and numerical results confirms the validity of the proposed model.