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A composite material is a combination of two or more dissimilar materials with a distinct
interface. Greater strength to weight ratio, reduced number of subassemblies and assemblies,
increased design flexibility are some of the salient features of these materials.
Predicting the performance and understanding the characteristics of the materials is of
prime importance in validating and understanding the actual performance of the structure. The
anisotropic behavior and nonlinear stress distribution and load path adds more complexities to the

Composites are classified as shown below

Figure1. Classification of Composite

Composite materials that are fabricated by gluing two thin strong sheets of dense material, to a
relatively low strength, light weight material, are known as sandwich composites. In the various
fabrication techniques applied here, the base materials used are fabric (Glass, Carbon or Kevlar of
various areal densities), epoxy resin mixture for thermosets, polypropylene or polyethylene for
thermoplastics, foam ( Polyurethane - PUF or Polyisocyanurate-PIR) used as core.

2.1. Layout of a sandwich composite

Figure 2.1. A foam core sandwich construction showing the architecture

Notations for the composite:
c = Thickness of core , mm ;
t = Thickness of skin , mm
d = Centroidal height (c + t) , mm
h = Total height of sandwich composite ,
mm b = Width of composite beam, mm
W = Maximum load applied , N
L = Length of the beam span (i.e. span length of support) , mm [Ref. Figures 4.1 and 4.2 ]

Ec = Elastic modulus of core ,MPa or N/mm

Ef =Es = Elastic modulus of face / Skin , MPa or N/mm

E1 = Longitudinal Modulus of the skin Composite, MPa

E2 = Transverse Modulus of the skin Composite, MPa
Gc = Shear modulus of core ,MPa or N/mm
G12 = Inplane Shear Modulus of skin, MPa

12 = Inplane Poissons Ratio of skin

c = poisons ratio of core
Q = Shear Load on the sandwich
specimen y = Distance of neutral axis

Core: The low strength low density material is called the core and its main function is to
maintain the distance between the outer faces so that the moment of inertia of a cross section of
the sandwich skin and its flexural rigidity are large ( Flexural rigidity = E X I ). It supports the
thin skins so that they dont buckle outward and inwards. Various types of cores used are
honeycomb, foam, truss, & corrugated cores.
Skins: Tensile and compressive stresses in a sandwich composite are carried by the two skins.
Steel, stainless steel and aluminium are used for skin along with fibre or glass reinforced plastics.
Adhesive: The shear forces between the skin and the core are transferred by the bonding layer.
The adhesive layer is very important because the skin should properly adhere to the core to give a
good structural behaviour.
2.2. Design optimization
Strength: The main reason behind the increased usage of sandwich composite is their high
strength to weight ratio. In the concept of sandwich construction, high modulus skins are
combined with thick and light core suggesting the possibility of designing structures so
proportioned that the maximum bending strength and stiffness can be achieved with minimum
weight of the core and facing material combinations [1]. Some mechanical properties of the skin
and core are directional in nature. Therefore, materials should be oriented properly in the panel to
make best use of their characteristics.
Stiffness: Optimum sandwich design criteria with respect to weight in an article named Your
sandwich order sir? by GR Froud. This article shows that sandwich fabrication can be suitably
tailored to give optimum stiffness or strength. The deflection calculations must allow for shear
deflection of the structure and the bending deflections because of the relatively low shear
modulus of core materials. Stiffness can be maximized at low weights using sandwich structures.
Weight: R.M.V.G.K Rao et al [3] showed that optimum core to skin weight ratios for maximum
stiffness and strength of the sandwich panels could be experimentally determined and optimized
in case of the honeycomb panels. Flexural strength and rigidity showed a considerable increase.
Minimum weight criterion of a sandwich panel with respect to a given bending stiffness and
strength is verified in another publication [4]. Sandwich constructions made of a foamed PVC
core glass epoxy faces were tested in a four point bending test.
Economic considerations: A cost effective solution can be obtained using composite sandwich
panels. Value analysis should include assessment of production and assembly costs and
installation costs including supporting structure.
2.3. Rule Of Mixtures - It is a method of approach to an approximate estimation of
composite material properties, based on an assumption that a composite property is the volume
weighed average of the phases (matrix and dispersed phase) properties. According to rule of
mixtures, properties of composite materials are estimated based on the following material
characteristics :
Modulus of Elasticity
Shear Modulus
Poissons Ratio
Tensile Strength
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
Modulus of Elasticity

We have,

= m*Vm + f*Vf

where, c, m, f densities of the composite, matrix and dispersed phase respectively ;

Vm,Vf volume fraction of the matrix and dispersed phase respectively.
Long aligned fibres - Modulus of Elasticity in longitudinal direction (E1) :
E1 = Em*Vm + Ef*Vf
Modulus of Elasticity in transverse direction (E2) :
1 / E2 = Vm / Em + Vf / Ef
where: Ef modulus of elasticity of fiber material;
Em modulus of elasticity of matrix material;
Gm - shear modulus of matrix material;
A result considered more accurate than that from the rule of mixtures, for the transverse
modulus, is given by the Halpin Tsai Equation. The Halpin-Tsai models are used to describe 2phase composites in which the matrix phase is isotropic. Halpin-Tsai materials may be
transversely isotropic, orthotropic, or isotropic, depending on the geometry of the material
reinforcing the matrix. The composite material frame corresponds with the fiber (or non-matrix)
phase frame and Halpin-Tsai equations of the form:

E2= Em[ (1 + Vf) / (1 - Vf)] , where, = {[(Ef / Em) 1] / [(Ef / Em) + ]}

Here, E2 is the composite elastic property; Ef and Em are the corresponding properties
for the fibre and matrix material, respectively, Vf andVm are the volume fractions for the
fibre and matrix phase, respectively, and is a user-specified empirical constant. A more
accurate value for the Shear modulus is obtained from Stress Partitioning Parameter
(CADEC) than the result obtained from rule of mixtures and cylindrical assemblage model.

Advanced composite materials with anisotropic properties create the need for new tests to
understand and predict the performance of composite structures, different testing methodology
like low level coupon tests, high level structural tests etc. The approach to evaluate high
performance composite airframe structures is as shown in Figure 2 .

Figure 2. Evaluation approach for high performance materials

The different procedures followed for fabrication in the lab are

Hand Layup Wet , Dry

Vacuum Bag Moulding of the stacked composite
Curing of stacked composite at a pre-defined temperature

The pressure application may vary for the particular composite one is assigned to prepare .

3.1. Calculations for Required Quantity of Resin for a Wet-Layup:

Example For Sandwich Composite with skin to core weight ratio 1: 2 :
Lets consider a Polyurethane foam board of 1000mm x 500mm x 50mm, and density 250 kg/m3:

Density of glass fabric considered = 2.52 gms/cc

Density of epoxy resin mixture considered = 1.2 gms/ cc
We have weight of foam board found to be = 3582.5 gms
For good stiffness, weight of skin must be equal to half the weight of foam board,
So, total weight of skin must be = 3582.5 x 0.5 gms = 1791.25 gms
Fabric volume fraction considered in the skin composite = 0.3
So, weight of single glass fabric layer (excluding overhangs 1000mm x 500mm) from 280 gsm
plain weave must be = 280 x 0.5 gms = 140 gms
Converting into volume using 2.52 gms /cc as density, volume of fabric required per layer = 140
/ 2.52 = 55.56 cc
Now, for volume fraction of 0.3, the total volume of one layer of glass/ epoxy = 55.56 /0.3 =
185.2 cc
Therefore, resin volume / layer of glass epoxy skin = 185.2 55.56 = 129.64 cc
So, resin weight for one layer = 129.64 x 1.2 = 155.6 gms
Now, total weight of one layer of glass epoxy = 155.6 + 140 = 295.6 gms
So, number of layers required = 1791.25 / 295.6 = 6.06 ie approximately 6 layers, 3 layers
above and 3 layers below the foam. Please note that the weight ratio can increase only in a
discrete manner. We can only get near ratios, sometimes. There is no quarter layer !
Required amount(volume) of resin for a layup:
For a fabric volume fraction of 0.3, with area of 900 mm x 500 mm (0.45 sq mm), we find
the weight for a 280gsm fabric, i.e., 0.45 x 280 = 126 gms
Therefore, the volume of fabric = mass/ density = 126/ 2.52 gm/cc = 50cc for a volume
fraction of 0.3.

Therefore, Volume of the single layer of composite skin = 50 cc /0.3 = 166.667 cc

Volume of the resin per layer of composite skin = 166.667 cc - 50 cc = 116.667 cc
Weight of the resin per layer of skin = 116.67cc x 1.2 g/cc = 140.004 gms
Therefore, weight of the single glass epoxy layer = 140.004 + 126 gms = 266.004 gms
So, volume of resin for 6 layers of fabric and the foam board is 116.67cc x 6 = 700.02 cc
In case of Epoxy GY257 and hardener Aradur 140 being used for the laminate, two measures
of resin and one measure of hardener is to be used by volume. For LY556 and HY 951, ten
measures of resin and one measure of hardener is to be used by volume.

Hand Layup Procedure
1) Based on the weight and volume fraction calculations for the composite, required
amount of glass fabric and resin mixture are considered . The glass fabric which is to be
cut and used must have a maximum overhang of 20mm on each side. This is done to use
the fabric optimally, reduce wastage and avoid the volume fraction errors in the panel
fabricated as much as possible.
2) The resin and hardener considered are to be taken precisely in order to avoid different
design than that assigned.
3) The following is the order of material stacked &applied to the mould [Figure 3.1]:
The base plate is taken according to the size of composite required.
The mould/plate/ board is to be cleaned such that it is devoid of chemicals/
protrusions. The breather cloth is placed above the board/ plate.
A nylon peel ply/ release film is laid over the breather fabric and a release agent
sprayed. [Release Agent: This is a wax or non-binding polymer that is first coated
onto the mould. This allows the finished cured part to easily pop out and release
from the mould.]
A coat of resin is applied and spread over the peel ply and a layer of specific
fabric placed over the spread.

Figure 3.1. Hand Lay-up Procedure


The layer is flattened to shape of the mould with a roller, applying sufficient
pressure. The rolling helps infuse certain amount of resin mix into the fabric
layer, from beneath it and places it firmly over the mould.



Resin is again applied and spread over the layer. The second layer of fabric is
placed over the first and rolled. The process is repeated for all the layers to
be stacked.
The final layer may be coated with resin as well. Another nylon release film,
sprayed with release agent is placed over the final layer and rolled with the roller.

Note : The procedure followed is the same for Sandwich Composites or stacking
sequence introducing nanocomposites.
In case of introduction of fly ash into the composite, it may be mixed with the resin
mixture thoroughly and coated.
3.3. Vacuum Bagging: The typical vacuum bag moulding process is shown below.

Figure .3.2..Vacuum Bag Moulding Process

The stacked composite layers from the wet lay-up are placed in a vacuum bag, sealed on
three sides.
A vacuum connector valve is inserted through the bag with a dam at its base. Finally,
the fourth side is sealed and vacuum hose connected to the connector valve.
The vacuum through valve is opened and the vacuum pump switched on. The pump
may be run for about half hour. It must be ensured that the vacuum through valve is
closed before the vacuum pump is turned off. The lay-up is left to cure at room
temperature for 24 hours.
Note : In case of hot vacuum bagging, the facing nylon films would be different, which
can withstand higher temperatures. The vacuum bag set-up is placed in the hot air oven
and the composite allowed to cure up to a predefined temperature for a defined period.
A recording in the lab Log Book-1 must be made without fail.


The various tests performed to determine the properties of sandwich composites, are ,

Tensile Test
Compression Test
Flexure Test Three point Bending and Four Point Bending
Shear Test For Mode 1, Mode 2 and Mode 3 failures
Test for Interlaminar Shear Strength and Peel Strength

Few of the ASTM Standards followed for the experiments to be conducted to determine the
Tensile & Compressive properties of the composite.
1. D7249 / D7249M - 12 - Standard Test Method for Facing Properties of Sandwich
Constructions by Long Beam Flexure
2. D3039 / D3039M - 08 - Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix
Composite Materials
3. ASTM C297 / C297M - 04(2010) - Standard Test Method for Flatwise Tensile Strength
of Sandwich Constructions
4. ASTM C365 / C365M - 11a - Standard Test Method for Flatwise Compressive
Properties of Sandwich Cores
5. Open Hole Tensile ASDTM D5766 measures the force required to break a polymer
composite laminate section while the test method calculates ultimate strength based on
gross cross-sectional area, disregarding the hole. ASTM D5766 is commonly used in the
aerospace industry as a practice to develop notched design allowable strengths. It is used
to generate data where the final application of the product may require fastener holes or to
simulate a flaw in a material component. The test is used for composite material forms
(including tape or fabric) and limited to continuous fiber or discontinuous fiber reinforced
composites with balances and symmetrical test direction. Since specimen with a centrally
located hole. The hole allows for stress concentration and reduced net the physical
properties of many materials can vary depending on ambient temperature, it is sometimes
appropriate to test materials at temperatures that simulate the intended end use
Few of the ASTM Standards followed for the experiments to be conducted to determine
the interlaminar shear strength properties and flexural properties of the composite.
1. D6415 / D6415M - 06a(2013) - Standard Test Method for Measuring the Curved Beam
Strength of a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer-Matrix Composite.
2. D7291 / D7291M - 07 - Standard Test Method for Through-Thickness "Flatwise"
Tensile Strength and Elastic Modulus of a Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite
3. D2344 / D2344M - 00(2006) - Standard Test Method for Short-Beam Strength of
Polymer Matrix Composite Materials and Their Laminates.
4. ASTM D7250/ D7250M 06 (2012) To determine flexural and transverse shear
stiffness properties of flat sandwich constructions
subjected to flexure in such a
way that the applied moments produce curvature of the sandwich facing planes.
covers determination of facing
5. ASTM D7249/ D7249M 12 - This test method
properties of flat sandwich constructions subjected to flexure in such a manner that
the applied moments produce curvature of the sandwich facing
planes and result in
compressive and tensile forces in the facings.
6. ASTM C393/ C393M 11e1 - This test method covers determination
of the core
shear properties of flat sandwich constructions subjected to
flexure in such a
manner that the applied moments produce curvature of the sandwich facing
7. ASTM test method D790 M - Flexural properties such as flexural strength and bending
modulus are determined. A higher span thickness (L/h) ratio is recommended. Flexural
strength is calculated at a span to depth ratio of16:1 and 21:1.
8. ASTM C273M-07a To determine the Shear Properties of core of the Sandwich
9. ASTM D3846 -Standard Test Method for In-Plane Shear Strength of Reinforced Plastics
10. D7264 / D7264M - 07 - Standard Test Method for Flexural Properties of Polymer Matrix
Composite Materials
11. The Flexural test ASTM D6272 measures the force required to bend a plastic beam under a
four point loading system. The test method is used for reinforced or unreinforced
materials including high modulus composites and for materials that do not fail within the

limits of ASTM D790 (a three point loading test). The major difference between the three
point and four point flexural tests is the location of the bending moment. The four point
bending method allows for uniform distribution between the two loading noses, whilst the
three point bending methods stress is located under the loading nose.
Few of the ASTM Standards followed for the experiments to be conducted to determine
specifically, the Shear Properties of composite.
1. Test method ASTM D3164/ D3164M is used to produce shear strength data for joints.
ASTM D3164 is useful for comparing adhesives or evaluation surface treatments.
2. C273 / C273M - 11 - Standard Test Method for Shear Properties of Sandwich Core
3. D5379 / D5379M - 12 - Standard Test Method for Shear Properties of Composite
Materials by the V-Notched Beam Method
4. C394 Test Method for Shear Fatigue of Sandwich Core Materials
5. Lap Shear Strength Test of Adhesively Bonded Plastics ASTM D3163. Lap Shear
Adhesion Test for Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) ASTM D5868.
6. Test method ASTM D3528 is used to determine tensile shear strengths of adhesives for
bonded metals. The double lap shear configuration is an essentially peel free standard
specimen and used in this method to represent low-peel structural joints.

Figure 3.3.
Tests for Peel Strength
ASTM D903 Test Method for Peel or Stripping Strength of Adhesive Bonds
Climbing Drum Peel of Adhesives ASTM D1781
Peel Adhesion ASTM D3330
T-Peel of Adhesives ASTM D1876, D 6412



The specimens must be marked considering maximum utilization of the fabrication panel,
for various tests to be performed.
Appropriate precautionary and safety measures during cutting/ machining operations must
be taken to avoid any form of mishaps.
The test specimens must be prepared with focus and skill in order to get specimens of
equal dimensions. Ruptures or fractures in the specimens during the process would lead to
defective specimens, inappropriate for any form of testing.
Specimens must be labeled and numbered for the tests to be performed and the details of
the nomenclature described appropriately in the observation notebooks.
Any deviation in the dimensions of the specimen must be recorded and noted for
differences in properties tested for.

Any defects found in specimens must also be noted.

Dimensions of each specimen are to be measured with the Vernier caliper, recorded and
an average dimension of the test specimens arrived on.

Booking of the test machines Instron or UTM at Strength of Materials Lab for the
particular date and time must made well in advance after consulting the concerned person
at the lab, to avoid any overlap with other experimenters.
The test is to be conducted following the respective ASTM standard.
Observations made during testing must be noted and preferably snapshots of the same are
to be taken for documentation.
A recording in the lab Log Book-2 must be made wrt specimen preparation and testing.
Evaluations of the various properties from the test results are to be done in the
observation notebooks and handed over to the lab, after a soft copy is generated.
The shear stresses, generally, vary parabolically through the thickness of the face and and
the core. The maximum normal stresses are related to the bending moment M and the distance
from the neutral axis y and, the maximum shear stresses are related to the shear force. If the
faces are thinner and stiffer than the core, then the stresses can be treated as linear through the
thickness of the face sheet and the core.
Evaluation of Properties of Composite : The various properties of the sandwich composite
that can be evaluated in flexure test are :

1. Flexural rigidity, D, N mm
For infinite span length,
D = {(Ef.b.t ) / 6 + Ef (2bt) [(d+t) / 2] + (Ec.b.c ) /
12} For limited span lengths,

D = {1 / [ (96. / P.a ) (12 / a N)]} ;

Where, a beam span , G shear modulus of the core, total beam deflection, N
shear stiffness given by :

N = [ G.b (h+c) ] / 4c
2. Flexural rigidity/ unit width , i.e. / mm
= ( D / b)
3. Shear deflection, shear, mm:

shear = [( W.L.c) / (4 bdGc) ]


4. Bending stress, b, N/mm :

Bending Moment, M = (W.L / 4)
Hence, bending stress, b = [ M.h / (b.t.d)]
5. Bending Strength , B, of sandwich beams, Nmm :
B = (W.a /8) , where a is the support span.

6. Bending strength per unit width, Nmm/mm :

=B / b

Maximum Shear stress in core, c ,N/mm , :

c = {(Q / D) [(Es.t.d /2) + (Ec/2) (c/4 - y)] }, where Q = W/2,
Q is the shear load and y is the distance from the neutral axis. First evaluate the
shear stress for y=0 and then for other values.



Figure 4.1. Three Point Bending



Figure 4.2 Four Point Bending
8. Shear strain , : = [Q / (b.d.Gc)]
9. Normal stress, x, , N/mm :

x= [ M.h / (2.If) ] , where, If = b (h-c) /12

10. Bending shape factor for stiffness:

11. Shape Factor for failure in bending:

Properties to be evaluated in a Shear Test are - Shear Stress, Shear Strain, Shear
Deflection, Modulus of Shear. The various modes of failure are also to be noted. The various
inputs with respect to properties of the sandwich composite are as mentioned.

4.3.1 Glass laminate Properties :

The CADEC Software available in the Composite lab is used to find the various
micromechanical properties of laminate skin of sandwich composite inputs like
modulus of elasticity of, Fabric Ef, Matrix Em and the volume - Vf are given to
attain values by Rule of Mixtures, Halpin-Tsai Equation, Cylindrical Assemblage model
and Stress Partitioning equations.
Density for E-Glass Fabric = 2.52 gms/cc. Volume
Fraction of fabric in the composite = 0.3
Youngs Modulus of Elasticity, E-Glass Fabric = 35 GPa
Poisson's ratio of the E glass fibre = 0.25 + / - 0.01

4.3.2. Foam Properties : The two different types of foams used here are Polyurethane
and Polyisocyanurate. The properties considered are :

PUF :Density
Youngs Modulus of
Elasticity, E1, MPa
Poissons Ratio
In Plane Shear
Modulus, G12, MPa

64 kg/m

125 kg/m



PIR : Density
Youngs Modulus of
Elasticity, E1, MPa
Poissons Ratio
Inplane Shear
Modulus, G12, MPa

64 kg/m

125 kg/m

250 kg/m

425 kg/m





250 kg/m

400 kg/m



4.2.3. Resin Properties:

Epoxy GY 257 & Aradur 140 Density of epoxy is considered = 1.2 g /cc.
Youngs Modulus of Elasticity, Epoxy Resin mixture = 1.5 GPa
; Poisons ratio of the resin =0.35

4.2.4. Failure Modes

A sandwich composite, despite its high stiffness, should also possess high strength for structural
applications. There are four different modes of failure of sandwich composites when loading in
bending. The structure will fail at the mode that occurs at the lowest load.
The failure modes are:
1. Yielding or fracture of the tensile face : This type of failure occurs when the normal
tensile stresses due to the tensile loading exceeds the yield strength of the face sheet
Fig.4.3.: Tensile fracture of face sheets

2. Buckling or Wrinkling of the face This method of failure occurs due to the excessive
compressive stress, which causes instability in the face sheets.
Fig.4.4.: Face Sheet Wrinkling.
3. Failure of the core in shear : Generally the failur e occurs when the shear stress in the
core exceeds the shear strength. The shear strength of the core depends on the foam
density, pore size and the heat treatment temperature.

Fig.4.5. Shear failure in Core

4. Failure of the bond between face and core This failure occurs only when stresses at the
interface are high enough to cause delamination.

Fig.4.6. Delamination

Shear Test Failure :There are three modes of failure considered in shear test of
sandwich composite Figure 4.9.

Mode 1 - Opening
Mode 2 - Sliding
Mode 3 Tearing and
Mixed mode

Figure 4.7.

Figure 4.8. Failure of Skin/ Face

sheet in Compression

Figure 4.9 Modes of failure through shear


ANSYS allows direct modelling of sandwich structures with its shell elements designated as
SHELL63, SHELL91 and SHELL181.Sandwich structures can also be modelled in ANSYS by
using a combination of various elements separately for each constituent. Such combinations are:
Shell element for skin and solid elements for core.
Solid element for both skin and the core.
Shell elements for both the skins and layered solid element for core.
Layered solid elements for both the skins and the core.
Shell elements for core and shell elements with midplane offset for skins.
When combining various element types in one model, they can be connected either
directly using common nodes in mesh or by some other means such as coupling their degrees of
freedom (DOF).

Initially, SOLID elements are used for convenience in modelling and analysis. Further
on shell elements are used.The various material properties are taken from existing data available
through literature and experiments done previously. Laminate properties as mentioned before are
obtained from CADEC.

Meshing of the models with tetrahedral elements allows a free mesh to be refined further
which is not so in case of mapped hexahedral elements. Constraints and loads in the model are to
be given on the nodes appropriately without scaling the conditions from the original setup.
Meshing using SOLID45 elements helps in obtaining convergence in the solutions. Error
messages and warnings are best reduced by clean modelling, meshing and appropriate inputs.
Combination of elements are also used sometimes with elements like COMBIN 40. Contact
elements like CONTA 174, CONTA 175, TARGE 170 etc are used to define contact pairs of
rigid bodies like rigid foam structures. Such analyses are best suited for the simulation of
flexure tests and double cantilever beam tests. Preferably a large displacement non-linear
analysis must be considered before trying to execute the solution.
The log file of the analysis must be saved and entered to specific folders with dates to avoid
confusions. The log files can also be edited for other analyses like minor changes in load,
material properties, dimensions properties etc.

Some of the Relevant Literature

G.R. Froud, Your Sandwich Order,

Sir??, Composites, July (1980),
Composites,11(3), Pgs.133-138

Onkar Murthy,N.Munirudrappa, L.Srikanth, R.M.V.G.K.Rao, "Strength and Stiffness

Optimization Studies on Honeycomb Core Sandwich
Panels", Jl. of Reinforced Plastics
and Composites, Vol.25, No.6, (2006), Pgs.663-671
Gibson.L.J. (1984), Optimization of Stiffness in Sandwich
Beams with Rigid Foam Cores,
Materials Science and Engineering, 67(2) : Pgs.125-135
MichaelF Ashby, Materials Selection in MEchanical Design", Third Edition, Elsevier , UK,
Achilles Petras,"Design of Sandwich Structures", Cambridge University Engineering
Department, December 1998

Strength Based Design Optimization Studies on Rigid Polyurethane Foam Core Glass and Carbon -Glass Fabric Face Sheet/ Epoxy Matrix Sandwich
Composites ,
Padmanabhan .K, Mechanics of Advances Materials and Structures
M.M.Venugopal, S.K.Maharana, K.S.Badrinarayan, "Finite Element Evaluation of
Composite Sandwich Panel
Under Static Four Point Bending Load", JEST-M, Vol.2,
Issue 1 , 2013, Pgs. 1-6

General Instructions:

Kindly meet the concerned faculty with prior appointments or time checks.

Kindly carry your observation note books, reference books, necessary stationery,
and calculator when you come to lab.

Kindly collect the necessary literature relevant to your project. Take note of the formulae
relevant to the project.

In case of equipment usage, kindly take precautionary measures to avoid errors and

In the event of a mishap please learn to use the fire extinguisher. Use the first aid box
available in the lab. Please rush to the health centre at the earliest and avoid further

In case of pilot projects, kindly get yourself equipped with necessary materials/
chemicals required with prior purchase.

Wearing of masks, aprons and gloves is mandatory for fabrication and cutting.

Study the literature and clarify related queries with the faculty in concern. Kindly avoid
confusions within groups or between groups that are performing various projects.

Test specimens prepared must be kept in a safe place and not littered. Once your job
is done, we would appreciate if you clear up the work area of litter and dust generated
during the course of work.

On the day of fabrication or trimming of the job, kindly wear appropriate attire, shoes /
footwear, clothing to avoid resin stains, sticky glass fiber or abrasive glass epoxy powder.

Kindly make entries in the Lab log books regarding the job done.


Kindly do not leave your valuables around. You may leave valuables in the lab at
your own risk.

Kindly do not litter the lab. Use the vacuum cleaner to remove glass-epoxy dust.
Please maintain cleanliness.
Kindly do not misplace lab equipment , devices , material or books.
Please do not use virus infected removable drives to transfer data.

Kindly do not abuse the electrical equipment in case it doesn't function. Understand the
operation and then operate it. Take help from project associate.

Cleaning Epoxy from Skin :

(Clean Up, Solvents, & Thinners )

Epoxy resin products can be messy and get on surfaces where they are not wanted. They
should be removed before they cure to avoid having to grind them away later. This is
especially important when gluing around interior areas or on surfaces where visual
appearance will be important. While the resin should be cleaned up before it cures, there

is no particular rush to remove immediately as it exudes from a joint. In fact, as it

stiffens up a bit, removal is actually easier since there won't be as great a tendency to
spread it around while it is still fluid, especially the with POXY-SHIELD due to its
thinner viscosity. However, don't wait too long or the resin will cure hard. Nothing can
remove the resin at this point other than sanding.

Excess resin can be removed with thin sticks of wood, putty knives, or similar tools.
Don't let the uncured epoxy fall to the ground or floor where it will stick to anything and
everything or get tracked around; scrape it off into a container. Then wipe surfaces that
are to be cleaned using a lint-free rag soaked with a proper solvent.
DENATURED ALCOHOL is the best and probably the safest solvent from a bodily
contact standpoint (although it is flammable). Ordinary mineral spirits (paint thinner)
is also relatively safe. Other solvents are more hazardous, from a vapor inhalation
and/or flammability standpoint, as well as from long-term health effects.
ACETONE is a very effective solvent but has a relatively high evaporation rate, making
it necessary to keep the container closed at all times when not in use for safety and
economy. The main problem with acetone is that it is highly flammable. Any wood
boatbuilding situation offers the potential of a fire hazard, and therefore fire safety is
always important.
LAQUER THINNERS are a generic group of solvents which function similarly to acetone,
however, there are different formulations. Fumes are also easily detectable in most, but
they are not quite as volatile as acetone, yet still considered highly flammable.
TOLUENE, a common constituent of lacquer thinners, is not quite as flammable as acetone
nor as volatile, but can reach anesthetic affects at much lower levels. A 50/50 mix of toluene
and acetone is sometimes used as a solvent to moderate the qualities of each.
Just about all solvents are dangerous products from one or more respects, and costly. Skin
contact should be avoided, especially when working around epoxy products. Most of these
products tend to open the skin pores and remove protective skin oils, driving both the solvents
and the resin more deeply into the skin and perhaps ultimately into the system of the user. The
results are a much greater risk of skin reactions of greater severity.

For personal clean-up of uncured resin from skin, ordinary water and soaps or detergents
(including ammonia), or denatured alcohol can be used. However, we prefer the use of
waterless hand cleaner products which are specifically intended for use with resin
products. These usually have added protective oils that keep the resin from being
absorbed by the skin and don't tend to dry the skin. Of course, personal clean-up is much
easier if barrier cream has been applied-and protective clothing and gloves worn.
Again it should be emphasized that neither POXY-SHIELD or POXY-GRIP
products should be thinned with solvents or thinners. This will distort and adversely
affect the properties of the resin, perhaps to the point where they simply will not work.

Equipment: Kindly take prior permission of the lab in charge for the use and make relevant
entries in the Lab log book for the following
Electric hot air oven, Vacuum Pump, Weighing machines (10 kg & 300 gms cap); Power Saw;
MS Plates (5mm), Aluminium plates (2mm, 3mm, 5mm).
Electric Hot air oven

Kindly consult the persons in charge/ knowledgeable with respect to the operation of
the oven.
Kindly make checks on preheating the oven

In case of requirements of high temperature application for the particular jobs, for
a lengthier duration, kindly check with the power house personnel regarding the
availability of power for the duration.

It is advisable to use the oven for heating at relatively lower temperatures than
the maximum designed temperature of oven.

Kindly time the duration properly with adequate, prior knowledge. Kindly check if
you have to consider keeping the job in the oven after preheating the oven.

Weighing machines

Kindly connect the power cables properly to avoid draining of battery

Kindly maintain a clean platform for weighing samples
Kindly switch off the machine when not in use.

In case you have completed weighing all the samples, disconnect the power supply
and kindly cover the setup to avoid accumulation of dust on the sensitive equipment

Power Saw

Kindly check for all the available tools relevant to the power saw in the case
Kindly take precautionary methods during the use of the saw to avoid accidents.
Kindly place the tool and accessories in the case, after use.

Vacuum Pump

Vacuum Pump in the oil must be clearly visible through the clear glass for the functioning
of the pump in the specified time duration.
Vacuum gauge readings must be checked, and, connections checked for leakages.
Stop valves are to be closed once the vacuum pump is decided to be turned off.

Desktops & Ansys

Kindly collect the appropriate e-learning material relevant to your work and do a
thorough study.

The Finite Element Modeling and analysis may be done in the lab and stored in
appropriate folders under appropriate names with dates. Details of the various
analyses files may be recorded in a notepad file and stored in the folder.



Composite Materials ASTM D3039

Sandwich Core Materials ASTM C297
Open-Hole ASTM D5766
Plastics ASTM D638


Edgewise compressive strength of sandwich composites - C 364/364M

Flatwise Compressive Properties of Sandwich Cores - C 365/365M
Composites ASTM D3410
Matrix Laminates ASTM D6742
Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite (CLC) ASTM D6641
Plastics ASTM D695
Sandwich Beam ASTM D5467
Open Hole ASTM D6484
Strength of Damaged Plates ASTM D7137
Sandwich Cores ASTM C365
Rigid Cellular Plastics ASTM D1621


Matrix Composites ASTM D7264

Four-Point Bending ASTM D6272
Core Shear ASTM C393
Plastics ASTM D790


Short Beam Shear ASTM D2344

In-Plane Shear ASTM D3518
Beam Flexural ASTM C397
V-Notched Beam Shear ASTM D5379
In-Plane Shear ASTM D3846
Shear by Puncture ASTM D732
Shear Properties of Sandwich Core Materials ASTM C273
V-Notched Rail Shear ASTM D7078
Shear Pull-Through ASTM D7332


Lap Shear Metals ASTM D1002

Lap Shear Adhesively Bonded Plastics ASTM D3163
Lap Shear Sandwich Joints ASTM D3164
Lap Shear Adhesive Joints ASTM D3528

Lap Shear Thick Adherend Metal ASTM D5656

Lap Shear Adhesion for Fiber Reinforced Plastics ASTM D5868



Bond Strength / Ply Adhesion ASTM F904

Climbing Drum Peel of Adhesives ASTM D1781
Peel Adhesion ASTM D3330
Peel Adhesion to Rigid Substrates ASTM D429
T-Peel of Adhesives ASTM D1876
Floating Roller Peel of Adhesives ASTM D3167
ISO 8510 Peel Test for an Adhesive Flexible-to-Rigid Bonded Test Specimen Assembly
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ISO 813 Rubber Adhesion to a Rigid Substrate 90 Degree Peel Test
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ISO 22777 Footwear Touch and Close Fasteners Peel Strength before and after
Repeated Closing
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ISO 18592 Resistance welding - Destructive testing of welds - Method for the fatigue
testing of multi-spot-welded specimens
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ISO 14676 Adhesives Floating Roller Wet Peel Test Test Equipment
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ISO 13954 Plastics Pipes and Fittings - Peel Decohesion Test
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ISO 11339 T-peel Test for Flexible-to-Flexible Bonded Assemblies
Category: ISO Mechanical Test Standards
ASTM D903 180 degree Peel Strip Strength of Adhesive Bonds
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D6392 Peel and Shear Tests of Geomembrane Seams
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D3330 Method F 90 degree Peel of Single-Coated Tapes
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D3330 Method E 180 degree Peel Adhesion of Adhesive Transfer Tapes
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D3330 Method D 180 Degree Peel Adhesion of Release Liner to Pressure
Sensitive Tape Adhesive
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D3330 Method C 180 Degree Peel Adhesion of Double-Coated Tapes
Category: ASTM D
ASTM F88 Seal Strength Testing for Flexible Barrier Materials
Category: ASTM F
ASTM D6862 90 Degree Peel Resistance of Adhesives

Category: ASTM D
ASTM D5458 Peel Cling of Stretch Wrap Film
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D5170 T Peel Strength of Hook and Loop Touch Velcro Fasteners
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D3807 Tensile Strength of Adhesives in Cleavage Peel
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D3762 Adhesive-Bonded Surface Durability of Aluminum (Wedge Test)
Category: ASTM D
ASTM D1876 T Peel Resistance Test of Adhesives
Category: ASTM D
EN 2243-5 Metal Test Equipment | TestResources
Category: CEN - European Test Standards
DIN 53295 Adhesives Peel Test Equipment | TestResources
Category: DIN Testing Standards