Effect of core density on deformation and failure in sandwich composites subjected to underwater impulsive loads

S Avachat, M Zhou


The response of sandwich structures to underwater blast loading is analyzed. The analysis focuses on the effect of varying structural attributes on energy dissipation and deformation. The structures analyzed are simply-supported sandwich structures with PVC foam cores and fiber-reinforced polymer composite facesheets. For the analysis carried out, the material properties of the sandwich cores are varied and the total mass is kept constant. In conjunction with experiments, simulations account for underwater blast loading on structures in air-backed and water-backed conditions. Core crushing is accounted for through the Deshpande and Fleck model and facesheet failure is accounted for using the Hashin damage model. Results reveal a significant difference between the response of air-backed and water-backed/submerged structures. In general, thick and low-density cores provide superior blast mitigation and failure resistance. Scaling relations are developed to quantify the responses. These relations can be used to optimize the design of sandwich structures in critical parts of ships like keel, turbine-blades and rudders which involve different contact conditions with water.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/1750-9548.6.3.241

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