Moisture Effects on Performance of Polyurethane Composite Sandwich Panels Manufactured Using Vartm


Composite sandwich panels are characterized by lightweight and high strength. Typical composite sandwich structures are composed of fiber-reinforced polymeric skins and polymeric foam or honeycomb cores. The structural integrity of these sandwich panels could be significantly degraded due to the moisture absorbed after long-term exposure to hygrothermal environment. Polyurethane (PU) resin system has better mechanical properties and higher impact strength compared to conventional polyester and vinyl ester resin systems. While the moisture uptake behavior of thermoset resins and their fiber-reinforced composites have been the focus of extensive research, the effects of moisture absorption on mechanical properties of polyurethane sandwich structures has not been addressed adequately. In this paper, sandwich structures composed of woven E-glass reinforced polyurethane facesheets and polyurethane rigid foam core were fabricated using Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) process. The specimens were immersed in distilled water at room temperature. Flexure and low-velocity impact tests were conducted for both dry and wet samples to investigate the mechanical degradation due to moisture uptake. Dynamic three dimensional modeling was developed to study the moisture effect on the impact behavior under the energy level 30 J and finite element simulation results were validated with experimental findings. Copyright 2013 by Aurora Flight Sciences.

Meeting Name

International SAMPE Technical Conference (2013, Long Beach, CA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2013 Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2013

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