Stainless steel sandwich beams with a corrugated core or a Y-frame core have been tested in three-point bending and the role of the face-sheets has been assessed by considering beams with (i) front-and-back faces present, and (ii) front face present but back face absent. A fair comparison between competing beam designs is made on an equal mass basis by doubling the front face thickness when the back face is absent. The quasi-static, three-point bending responses were measured under simply supported and clamped boundary conditions. For both end conditions and for both types of core, the sandwich beams containing front-and-back faces underwent indentation beneath the mid-span roller whereas Brazier plastic buckling was responsible for the collapse of sandwich beams absent the back face. Three-dimensional finite element (FE) predictions were in good agreement with the measured responses and gave additional insight into the deformation modes. The FE method was also used to study the effect of (i) mass distribution between core and face-sheets and (ii) beam span upon the collapse response of a simply supported sandwich panel. Sandwich panels of short span are plastically indented by the mid-span roller and the panels absent a back face are stronger than those with front-and-back faces present. In contrast, sandwich panels of long span undergo Brazier plastic buckling, and the presence of a back face strengthens the panel.

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