Abstract

This study presents the testing and numerical modeling results of composite sandwich beams. The sandwich beams are constructed from balsa wood in the core and high strength steel wire and E-glass fiber reinforced polymer composite in the facings. The testing of these beams is performed using a monotonic static four-point loading to failure in accordance with ASTM C393-00. Local strain distribution in the mid-span of the beams is obtained using strain gauges. Mid-span deflections of the beams are real-time measured using linear variable displacement transducer (LVDT). From the experimental results, flexural properties of the beams are calculated, including bending stiffness, bending strength, core shear strength, and facing modulus, core modulus, etc. The experimental results have shown that the beams have all failed in the compression zone by local buckling of the top face and shear of the core. The bottom skin does not exhibit any type of premature failure or distress. No bond failure of the composite in the tension zone is observed in any of the tested beams. Finite element modeling of the beam has been conducted using ANSYS. The mechanical properties of the skin and core material used in finite element modeling have been determined by testing of coupons. The predicted results are compared to experimental results, with a reasonable agreement.

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