Dynamics and Buckling of Sandwich Panels with Stepped Facings


Sandwich panels have been developed to either produce lighter structures capable of carrying prescribed loads or increase the load-carrying capacity subject to limitations on weight. in these panels, facings carry bending and in-plane loads while the core functions similarly to the web of a beam, mostly resisting transverse shear. Improvements in the load-carrying capacity of sandwich panels can be achieved through modifications in their geometry, boundary conditions, and material distribution. One of the methods recently considered by the authors is based on using facings with a step-wise variable thickness that increases at the critical region of the structure. 1 It was illustrated that the strength of a sandwich panel can be considerably enhanced using such stepped facings, without a detrimental increase of the weight. the present paper expands the study of the feasibility of the stepped-facing sandwich panel concept concentrating on three structural problems, i.e. a possible improvement in stability, changes in the natural frequencies, and forced dynamic response to the explosive blast. It is illustrated that the stepped-facing design can improve stability of the panel and its response to blast loading. However, fundamental frequencies of stepped-facing panels decrease compared to those in their conventional equal-weight counterparts. Such decrease is detrimental in the majority of engineering applications representing a limitation of stepped-facing panels. Nevertheless, the usefulness of the stepped-facing design is proven in the problems of bending, stability, and blast loading. Numerous examples presented in the paper validate our suggestion that the combination of a relatively simple manufacturing process and an improved structural response of sandwich panels with stepped facings may present the designer with an attractive alternative to conventional sandwich structures.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Blast Load; Buckling; Sandwich Panel; Variable Stiffness; Vibration

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2011 World Scientific Publishing, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2011