Sandwiched structures with syntactic foam core and fiber reinforced composite skins may have a great potential in pipe and pressure vessel structures due to the lightweight, competitive material cost, and it thermal and acoustic insulation effects. One concern of the syntactic foam as core materials is its brittleness (low toughness). In the current study, short basalt fibers are considered as a reinforcing phase to toughen the syntactic foam material. A compressive test and a notched three-point bending test were conducted to characterize the mechanical properties of the basalt fiber reinforced syntactic foam. In order to measure the fracture toughness, in the notched three-point bending test, two inclinometers were applied to record the rotation of the notched beam. Based on a moment-rotation based formulation, the J-integral was calculated. The compressive test results showed that the compressive strength slightly decreased with the inclusion of short basalt fibers. The three point bending test indicated that with a very low fiber volume fraction (0.25% and 0.5%), there was a dramatic increase in the syntactic foam’s tensile strength, ductility and toughness.

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