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Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Composite Structures journal

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Composite Structures

journal homepage: www.elsevi er.com/locate/compstruct Criteria for skin rupture and core shear cracking induced by

Criteria for skin rupture and core shear cracking induced by impact on sandwich panels

Robin Olsson a , , Tim B. Block b , 1

a Swerea SICOMP, Box 104, SE-431 22 Mölndal, Sweden b Faserinstitut Bremen e.V., Geb. IW 3, Am Biologischen Garten 2, D-28359 Bremen, Germany

Geb. IW 3, Am Biologischen Garten 2, D-28359 Bremen, Germany article info Article history: Available online

article info

Article history:

Available online 30 January 2015

Keywords:

Material: carbon fibre, fabrics/textiles Property: impact behaviour Analysis: analytical modelling

abstract

Core shear cracking induced by impact on sandwich panels is a critical failure mode causing severe loss of structural performance. This paper reviews previous experimental and theoretical work in the area and derives improved closed form expressions for initiation of skin rupture and core shear cracking during impact on sandwich panels with foam cores. The criterion for skin rupture is also applicable to laminates without a core. It is shown that the skin rupture load limits the achievable core shear load, and that core shear cracking can be prevented by selecting a core thickness above a certain threshold value. The criteria are successfully validated by comparison with experimental results for a range of thicknesses of skins and cores in panels with carbon/epoxy skins and a Rohacell foam core. The criterion for skin rupture is also validated for plain laminates.

2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Sandwich panels with laminated composite skins (face sheets) offer very high bending stiffness per unit weight and are therefore attractive for use in aircraft structures, but concerns remain over damage tolerance issues [1,2] . A general review on the effects of impact on sandwich panels, and a comparison of damage types in various skin and core materials was provided in [3] . A more recent review focused on impact response models and damage pre- diction was provided in [4] . Studies of beam impact are common in the literature, but will not be considered here due to differences in response and damage growth of beams and the wide panels used in most structures. The differences result from the fact that the transverse shear force is constant in a beam, but inversely propor- tional to the distance to the loading point in a plate. Impact damage in sandwich panels may involve core crushing, skin delamination and penetration, core shear cracking and core- skin debonding, Fig. 1 . Typically core crushing and delamination occur at low impact energies, while core shear cracking and skin penetration occur for significantly higher energies. For large impact energies both the upper skin and core will be penetrated so that the impactor pushes on the lower skin and peels it off the

Corresponding author. Tel.: +46 31 706 63 51. E-mail address: robin.olsson@swerea.se (R. Olsson). 1 Present address: Nordex Energy GmbH, Langenhorner Chaussee 600, 22419 Hamburg, Germany.

0263-8223/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

core, Fig. 1 (d) [5,6] , until eventually even the lower skin is penetrated [5] . Core shear cracking induced by impact on large naval panels with GFRP skins and PVC foam cores was reported in [7] , while another study found no such cracks in similar panels [2] . This transition has been highlighted in a number of studies which demonstrated that changes in the sandwich panel skin properties or core thickness resulted in appearance or suppression of impact induced shear cracks, [8–11]. Most aircraft structures have used honeycomb cores, which offer high shear stiffness, but have been found to cause problems with water entrapment. This problem is avoided with foam cores, which also offer simplified manufacturing, but a major concern is the risk for core shear cracking or skin debonding, e.g. due to impact. Leijten et al. [10] analysed the impact resistance and compres- sive residual strength of CFRP foam core sandwich panel with Rohacell PMI foams for application in primary aircraft structures. They describe a significant increase in planar damage area during non-destructive inspection (NDI) for a particular sandwich con- figuration with a relatively thin foam core but otherwise concen- trate on skin debonding due to core crushing below the point of impact. Destructive sectioning of this particular sandwich con- figuration revealed core shear cracks that emerge from the local core crushing area and extend in a circular manner conically through the foam core. These shear cracks result in a reduced flex- ural stiffness of the affected specimens compared to the reference configuration. Block [11] investigated in a recent publication the

82

R. Olsson, T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87

low velocity impact response of different CFRP foam core sandwich panels with Rohacell PMI foams and focussed on the transition from the damage mode skin rupture to core shear failure. His find- ings support the evidence from Leijten et al. [10] that sandwich configurations with thin foam cores are more likely to fail in core shear cracking. The experimental results are used in this paper as reference and will be described later in more detail. Honeycomb cores are less vulnerable to shear cracking as through the thickness crack growth has to rupture the cell walls. Shear loads on honey- comb cores instead typically lead to shear buckling of the cell walls. An extensive investigation of Nomex honeycomb core sand- wich panels with CFRP skins by Raju et al. [12] revealed no core shear cracking as failure mode. It is however reported that with decreasing core thickness and increasing diameter of the indenter, the planar damage area in the sandwich increases, too. Most impacts of concern for sandwich panels involve core crushing and large skin deflections. Several analytical models for sandwich panel indentation with core crushing have been present- ed [13–16] . The model by Olsson and McManus [13] considered the skin as a quasi-isotropic plate or membrane on an elastic–plas- tic foundation. Elastic indentation and shear deformations were included in the model and large skin deflections were considered by an approximate large deflection plate theory or by Rayleigh– Ritz method for a pure membrane with an assumed mode shape. Orthotropic skins were considered by a rescaling to an equivalent quasi-isotropic skin. Türk and Hoo Fatt [14] used a Rayleigh–Ritz method with an assumed mode shape to consider a pure orthotropic membrane on a rigidly plastic foundation. Hoo Fatt and Park [15] used the same method to consider small deflections of an orthotropic plate on an elastic plastic foundation. Koissin et al. [16] used a more general formulation to consider both the 2D problem and the axisymmetric problem of a quasi-isotropic plate on an elastic–plastic foundation. Large skin deflections were considered in an approximate way by considering the average membrane strain in the deflected region. Elastic indentation and shear deformation of the skin were not included in the models

[14–16].

Analytical predictions of the impact response have been obtained by combining the indentation models with models for global panel response, e.g. [17,18]. In addition numerous impact response models based on the finite element method have been

models based on the finite element method have been Fig. 1. Impact damage involving (a) core

Fig. 1. Impact damage involving (a) core crushing, (b) core shear cracking (c) skin rupture/penetration and (d) core penetration.

presented, e.g. [8,19]. Closed form criteria for initiation of various damage modes in sandwich panels were presented in [17,18] and have been reviewed in [20]. Local core crushing and skin damage are a relatively benign damage types resulting in stable dent growth into the core and moderate strength reductions while core-skin debonding causes a severe reduction in the strength and stiffness of sandwich panels [2,9] . The current study is focused on core shear cracks appearing prior to skin penetration, as such cracks are difficult to detect and are prone to initiate catastrophic core-skin debonding. In the current article we derive closed form criteria for the onset loads of skin rupture (penetration) and core shear cracking, and show that skin rupture prevents further shear loading of the core. The article is an expanded version of a previous conference paper [21] , and includes a significantly extended review and discussion of previous work in the field, as well as an improved expression for skin rupture. The criterion for core shear cracking is primarily relevant for foam cores. The criterion for skin penetration is not only applicable to sandwich panels with various skin materials, but also to monolithic laminates.

2. Theory

Impact and static indentation of sandwich panels with compos- ite laminate skins result in a sequence of damage events. The local elastic skin deflection is typically followed by core crushing, skin delamination and eventually skin rupture. Foam cores may also experience core shear cracking. A typical load-indentation curve for a panel without core shear cracking is shown in Fig. 2 . Core crushing involves initial elastic buckling of the core cell walls, followed by cracking or plastic buckling of the cell walls. Cel- lular core materials have been found to crush under a more or less constant compressive stress, p cr , up to the point of densification (>80% strain) where the cell walls are entirely collapsed and the core modulus approaches the modulus of the solid cell wall mate- rial [22] . The following theory is based on consideration of vertical equi- librium for a hemisphere of radius R indenting a sandwich panel with a facing skin of thickness h f , and a core of thickness h c being crushed within a radius a , as illustrated in Fig. 3 . The effective (axisymmetric) plate stiffness in bending of the skin is given by D f [18]

q ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi D f
q
ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
D f
D f 11 D f 22 ð g þ 1Þ= 2
q
ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
ð 1Þ
where g ¼ ð D f 12 þ 2D f 66 Þ
D f 11 D f 22
8
7
6
Skin rupture
5
4
3
2
Delamina on
1
Core crushing
0
02468
Indentation [mm]
Fig. 2. Typical load-indentation curve for a sandwich panel without shear cracking.
Load [kN]

R. Olsson, T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87

83

T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87 83 Fig. 3. Forces acting on a sandwich

Fig. 3. Forces acting on a sandwich panel with a central crush zone of radius a .

Here D j are the elements of the bending stiffness matrix of the skin, as given by laminate theory. We now define effective moduli Q f of

the skin (subscript ‘‘ f ’’) and Q c of the core (subscript ‘‘ c ’’):

Q f ¼ 12D f = h

3

f

Q

c ¼

(

E c = ð1 m 2 Þ foam E cz honeycomb

c

ð

2Þ

where ‘‘ z ’’ refers to the thickness direction [18]. The elastic skin deflection under a concentrated load F is modelled as a plate on an elastic foundation, where the foundation stiffness is influenced by the stiffness and thickness of the skin and core. The core may be considered semi-infinite when the core thickness h c exceeds a certain maximum value h c max [18]:

h c max ¼ h f

32 4

27

3 Q f =Q

cz

1=3

ð

3Þ

The load for onset of core crushing, F cr , is given by the theory for centrally loaded plates on an elastic foundation, and has been derived previously [18] :

F cr ¼ 4p cr

F cr ¼ 3 3

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

p

ffiffiffi

p

h c =ð 4: 14Q

Q

cr

f h

Q

h

f

f h

3

f

=ð

6Q

cz Þ

cz Þ

i 2=3

q

3

for h c 6 h c max

for h c > h c max

ð

4Þ

which have been rewritten using the first relation in Eq. (2). The load for onset of skin delamination, F d 1 , has been derived previously [18], and may be written:

F d1 ¼ p

q

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

8Q

h 3 G IIc =9

f

ð 5Þ

where G II c is the interlaminar toughness in mode II. The delamina- tion threshold load is the same as for monolithic laminates, since the core support is negligible for an infinitesimally small delamina- tion, but increases somewhat for subsequent delamination growth, due to increasing core support. Skin delamination occurs at an early stage and causes a more or less complete loss of skin bending stiffness, while membrane action is maintained. Hence skin rupture may be predicted by considering the equilibrium of a membrane wrapped around a hemispherical impactor. In the contact region the delaminated skin obtains the shape of a spherical cap, with a resulting uniform contact pressure, Fig. 4 .

σ 0 h f

F θ 0 θ 0 p cr Rθ 0
F
θ 0
θ 0
p cr
Rθ 0

σ 0 h f

Fig. 4. Geometry of a membrane wrapping around a hemispherical impactor/ indentor.

Thus, the membrane is in a state of uniform plane stress, where the stress–strain relation is given by:

r 0 ¼ e 0 E

r

=ð 1 m Þ

r

ð 6Þ

where E and m are the average Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio of the skin. These properties are obtained by evaluating the average values of a ply rotated a complete circle, and are identical to the corresponding properties for a quasi-isotropic laminate. The membrane strain at the edge of the contact area is given by the rela- tion between membrane strains and slope:

e 0 ¼ h 0 2 = 2

ð 7Þ

r

r

Vertical equilibrium for the spherical cap in Fig. 4 gives:

F ¼ 2pRh 0 r 0 h f h 0 þ p cr pð Rh 0 Þ 2 ¼ pRh f h 2 2r 0 þ p cr R= h f

0

ð 8Þ

Combination with Eqs. (6) and (7) gives the expression:

F ¼ 2pRh f e 0 2e 0 E =ð 1 m Þ þ p cr R= h f

r

r

ð 9Þ

The resulting skin rupture load F r is obtained by evaluating the load for a strain e 0 equal to the ultimate tensile failure strain e 1 t :

F r ¼ 4pRh f E 1t ð1 þ wÞ =ð 1 m Þ

where w ¼ ð 1 m Þ p cr R=ð 2E

r

e

2

r

r

r

e 1t h f Þ

ð 10Þ

Inspection of Eq. (10) reveals that the factor w can be neglected in

most cases of practical interest, i.e. except for extremely blunt impactors or very dense cores. Furthermore, by setting w 0 the criterion is directly applicable to plain laminates. Impact and indentation of sandwich panels typically results in a central zone with core crushing. The radius a of the crush zone is obtained from equilibrium between the contact load F , the core crush reaction and the skin membrane load N at the edge of the

crush zone, Fig. 3 :

p cr pa 2 ¼ F 2paN h

ð 11Þ

The squared radius may be written on the following dimensionless form:

a 2 ¼ p cr pa 2 = F ¼ 1 2paN h= F

ð 12Þ

where 2 p aN h /F is a reduction factor accounting for the load carried by skin membrane action during indentation. Solutions for the indentation of a sandwich skin on a crushing core, and relations between a and F were presented in [13]. Classical sandwich plate theory assumes a uniform shear stress over the core thickness. The core shear stress increases proportion- ally to the radius in the region with constant crush stress, and decreases outside this region due to decreasing contact stresses between skin and core. Hence, from Fig. 3 the peak core stress s c is given by the following relation:

s c ¼ p cr pa 2

2pah c

¼

p cr a 2h c

¼ 1

h

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

r

F

a 2 p cr

c

4p

ð 13Þ

where the relations in Eq. (12) have been used. The load is limited

by the skin rupture load F r . Hence the maximum shear stress s c max in the core is given by:

s c max ¼

¼

q

q

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi

p cr = ð 4pÞ =h c

ffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ð 1 þ wÞ Rh f E a 2 p cr =ð 1 m Þ e 1t =h c

ð 1 þ wÞ F r

a

2

r

r

r

r

ð 14Þ

where a r is the dimensionless crush radius at the rupture load F r . The quantity w was defined in Eq. (10) and is usually close to zero. The results in [13] show that a 2 6 0 :8 for the case of a membrane skin, and hence a value a 2 0 : 8 may be used for conservative design.

r

84

R. Olsson, T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87

3. Experiments

Sandwich panels were made from 75 kg/m 3 Rohacell PMI RIST foam cores covered with skins of HTS carbon non-crimp fabric (NCF) impregnated by RTM6 epoxy resin. The skins have a stacking sequence of [(45/0/ 45) s ] n and a ply thickness of 0.125 mm lead- ing to total laminate thicknesses of 0.75 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.25 mm and 3.0 mm. The core thickness varies between 6.5 mm and 35.5 mm. The complete test matrix with all configurations is shown in Table 1 . For each sandwich configuration three specimens were manufactured and tested with variable impact energies. Impact tests were performed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials in Halle, Germany. A drop weight impact testing machine was used with a 3.1 kg impactor and a hemi- spherical tup of radius R = 12.7 mm. This impactor is considered more critical compared to smaller types, as it increases the loading on the weaker core material due to shear bending. For the impact tests the sandwich panels were cut to a size of 350 400 mm and fixed inside a rigid picture frame with a 250 300 mm window as shown in Fig. 5 . Impacts were applied to the centre of the specimen with impact energies varying from 12 J to 90 J depending on the strength of the specimen. The size of the test specimens was selected large in order to reduce edge effects and keep the thickness of the test specimens by one order of magnitude smaller than its in-plane dimensions representative for shell structures. Impactor load and displacement were recorded during the experiments and skin and core damage inspected afterwards using air-coupled ultrasonics, and in some cases also fractography of sections cut from panels. The load and displacement curves thus characterise the impact process itself while the damage measure- ments characterise the damaged specimen. Fig. 6 displays the peak impact load observed during testing. The results are grouped into two categories. The shape of the sym- bol is selected depending on the skin thickness. Filled symbols mark specimens with observed core shear cracking while empty symbols represent specimens where there was only local core damage occurring. It can be observed that the peak impact force is constant for all specimens of the same skin thickness and impact energies above a certain threshold energy. From investigation of damaged speci- mens this threshold energy can be related to skin rupture which coincides with the peak force observed during impact testing. Consequently core shear cracking as a damage mode has – if at all – only little influence. Fig. 7 shows the planar damage diameter observed in the dam- aged test specimens. The results show only total damage area and do not distinguish between skin and core damage. Core damage was observed either in the form of local skin debonding due to core crushing below the point of impact or in the form of additional core shear cracking. In any case core damage was observed larger than skin damage and thus describes the total damage area fully. When looking at the graph two trends become obvious as the results arrange depending on the observed damage mode.

Table 1 Test matrix of impact tests.

Skin thickness h f (mm)

Core thickness, h c (mm)

 

6.5

10.0

16.3

25.7

35.5

0.75

1.50

2.25

3.00

350 250 position of impact 300 400
350
250
position of
impact
300
400

Fig. 5. Sandwich plates and picture frame used for specimen fixture during impact testing.

Peak impact force vs. Impact energy

t_skin = 0.75mm t_skin = 1.5mm t_skin = 2.25mm t_skin = 3.0mm 12 10 8
t_skin = 0.75mm
t_skin = 1.5mm
t_skin = 2.25mm
t_skin = 3.0mm
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0
20
40
60
80
100
peak impact force [kN]

Impact energy [J]

Fig. 6. Peak impact force vs. impact energy. Filled symbol = observed core shear cracking, Empty symbol = local core damage.

planar damage diameter [mm]

Planar dam age diameter vs. Impact energy t_skin = 0.75mm t_ skin = 1.5mm t_skin
Planar dam age diameter vs.
Impact energy
t_skin = 0.75mm
t_ skin = 1.5mm
t_skin = 2.25mm
t_skin = 3.
mm

400

     

300

 
300  
 
   
   
 
 
 

200

200  
200  
 

100

 
100    
 

0

0
0
0
0
0

0

20

40

60

Impact energy [J]

80

100

Fig. 7. Planar damage diameter vs. impact energy. Filled symbol = observed core shear cracking, Empty symbol = local core damage.

Specimens with core shear cracking (filled symbols) are subject to significantly larger damage sizes at lower impact energies than specimens with a local core damage observed. Here a maximum damage size of 50 mm diameter was observed compared to a max- imum damage size of about 300 mm for specimens with core shear cracking, which is close to the total size of the specimen. Only one particular specimen did not fit into either of the two trends. The specimen has a very thin skin of only 0.75 mm, a 16.3 mm thick core and was impacted with a relatively high energy of 35 J. The measured damage diameter was 100 mm and was con- firmed by sectioning. This also revealed that the impactor had

R. Olsson, T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87

85

T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87 85 Fig. 8. 50 J impact damage in

Fig. 8. 50 J impact damage in a specimen with a ‘thick’ core: Core crushing with skin rupture. Cutting scratches have been retouched for clarity.

rupture. Cutting scratches have been retouched for clarity. Fig. 9. 50 J impact damage in a

Fig. 9. 50 J impact damage in a specimen with a ‘thin’ core: Core crushing extended by a foam core shear crack. Cutting scratches have been retouched for clarity.

14 12 10 8 6 Theory 2.0% 4 Theory 1.8% Theory 1.6% 2 Experiment 0
14
12
10
8
6
Theory 2.0%
4
Theory 1.8%
Theory 1.6%
2
Experiment
0
0
1
234
Skin thickness [mm]
Skin rupture load [kN]

Fig. 10. Comparison between predicted skin rupture load and experimentally observed peak load.

punctured the front skin and crushed almost through the entire core. As the impactor approached the rear skin, it created a local debonding of the rear skin which was captured by the NDI and thus explains the large damage size. The damage mode however is core crushing combined with skin rupture. Destructive sectioning was also performed on selected speci- mens in order to confirm the available NDI results. Fig. 8 shows the damage mode local core crushing with skin rupture while Fig. 9 shows foam core shear cracking. The core thickness and impact energies differ however as the specimen in Fig. 8 has got a 25.7 mm thick core and was impacted with 90 J energy while the thinner specimen in Fig. 9 was subject to a 50 J impact and has got only 16.3 mm core thickness. Local fibre pull out in the damaged skin could not be avoided during sectioning which result- ed in local scratches in the foam core. For clarity these scratches have been retouched in the current pictures. The highlighted shear cracks are somewhat disguised by the ductile nature of cell wall failure in the foam core.

4. Comparison between theory and experiments

Theoretical predictions were based on the following elastic properties for the individual UD-plies of the NCF material:

E 1 = 130 GPa, E 2 = 9 GPa, G 12 = 4.5 GPa and m 12 = 0.26. The value of E 1 reported in [8] has been slightly reduced to better reflect the stiffness reduction caused by fibre crimp in NCF composites. The resulting average (quasi-isotropic) skin properties are:

E = 50 GPa, m = 0.307. The tensile failure strain was assumed to be e 1 t = 1.8%, based on the failure strain for fibre bundles reported by the fibre manufacturer [23] . This value is significantly higher than the tensile failure strain for conventional coupons of the NCF bulk material, but is thought to be more representative of the small material volumes (a few mm 3 ) strained under the impac- tor. The increasing strength for small material volumes is a well known result of Weibull’s statistical theory of strength [24] . The following properties were assumed for the 75 kg/m 3 RIST foam: p cr = 1.7 MPa, s U = 1.3 MPa [25] . Furthermore the dimension- less squared crush radius was assumed to be a 2 ¼ 0 : 8 [13] . Fig. 10 gives a comparison between predicted and experimen- tally observed load for onset of skin rupture, which coincides with the peak load during impact. To illustrate the effect of skin failure strain, predictions for a failure strain of 1.6% (obtained in conven- tional tests on bulk material) and 2.0% have been included for comparison. Fig. 11 presents curves for predicted shear stress, and symbols representing corresponding experimental observations of core shear cracking. It is evident that the appearance of shear cracks

r

r

r

6 5 4 3 2 3.00 mm Core shear 2.25 mm strength 1 1.50 mm
6
5
4
3
2
3.00 mm
Core shear
2.25 mm
strength
1
1.50 mm
0.75 mm
0
0
10
20
30
40
Shear stress [MPa]

Core thickness [mm]

Fig. 11. Predicted core shear stress and observed core shear cracking (trian- gle = observed core cracking, circle = no observed shear cracking).

closely corresponds to predicted stresses exceeding the shear strength of the foam core material and that core shear cracking can be prevented by exceeding a certain critical core thickness. To demonstrate the applicability of the penetration criterion to plain laminates Eq. (10) was compared with experimental data for carbon/epoxy laminates. This included quasi-isotropic T300/8502 laminates [26] tested with a R = 12.7 mm impactor, and HTA7/ 6376 laminates [27,28] with quasi-isotropic, cross-ply and orthotropic 0 /±45 layup tested with a R = 7.5 mm impactor. For T300/5208 the following data were assumed: E = 52 GPa,

r

8 6 T300 QI T300 QI exp 4 HTA7 QI HTA7 CP HTA7 OR 2
8
6
T300 QI
T300 QI exp
4
HTA7 QI
HTA7 CP
HTA7 OR
2
HTA7 QI exp
HTA7 CP exp
HTA7 OR exp
0
012345
Laminate thickness [mm]
Penetration load [kN]

Fig. 12. Predicted and experimentally observed penetration load in various plain composite laminates (QI = quasi-isotropic, CP = cross-ply, OR = orthotropic layup).

86

R. Olsson, T.B. Block / Composite Structures 125 (2015) 81–87

= 0.3, e 1 t = 1.2% [29] . Material data is available in more recent references but [29] is assumed to be more representative for the quality and properties at the time of testing. The tensile failure strain reported in [29] has been increased by 20% to represent the failure strain in small material volumes, in line with the previ- ous arguments for the sandwich skins. For HTA7/6376 the follow- ing data were assumed: E = 54.3 GPa, m = 0.31, e 1 t = 1.52% [30] . Fig. 12 demonstrates that predictions and experimental data are in good agreement, although the data for T300/5208 are somewhat unreliable. The layup independence of the penetration load is fur- ther supported by data in [31] , where penetration of 3 mm thick [± h 2 /0 2 ] s laminates occurred at F r 2.3 kN more or less indepen- dently of h . A reduction was, however, noticed for h = 90 , most

m

r

r

r

likely due to splitting of the resulting 90 4 plies.

5. Discussion and conclusions

In the current work criteria for skin rupture (penetration) and core shear cracking of CFRP foam core sandwich panels during low velocity blunt impact have been presented and compared with experimental results. Good agreement between experiments and the damage criteria has been reached. The proposed expression for the skin rupture load is layup inde- pendent, as it only depends on the average in-plane modulus of the skin. This seems to be supported by the results in [5] , which provided the same peak (penetration) load for cross-ply, angle-ply and quasi- isotropic layups. The only exception was unidirectional layups, where failure is controlled by splitting rather than by fibre failure. The skin rupture criterion in [17] contained an undetermined effective contact radius R e , which was assumed to be slightly smaller than the impactor tup radius. The current explicit criterion is obtained by use of the geometrical relation R e = R h 0 , evident in Fig. 4 . Insertion of the same relation in the expression given in [17] yields a criterion similar to the current skin rupture criterion, differing merely by the factor 1/(1 + m ). The current criterion for core shear cracking states that the cri- tical load is proportional to the square of the core shear strength, Eq. (13), while the criteria in [17] state a power of 2/3 for the skin modelled as plate, and a power of 6 for the skin modelled as a membrane. The reasons for these differences are not fully clear, but may be either due to differences in assumed skin deformation shapes, or due to the fact that [17] considered a sandwich panel on a rigid foundation. A critical load similar to Eq. (13) was quoted in [20] and attributed to [32] . Private communication [33] has, how- ever, revealed that the expression was actually derived by the authors of [20] by assuming a bare core and combining equations in [32] . Unfortunately no details of the derivation were given in [20] . The current expression in Eq. (13) includes an additional factor a 2 ( 0.8), which accounts for the load fraction taken by the skin. Impact resistance is an important part of damage tolerance which is required for primary load bearing structures in aircraft. Here impact resistance is the ability of a structure to withstand impact loads with minimum damage. In contrast to this damage tolerance is the ability of a structure to sustain loads without catas- trophic failure despite undetected structural damage. It should be recognised that increasing the impact resistance of a structure may sometimes reduce the damage tolerance performance. For monolithic CFRP structures impact resistance is typically determined by measuring damage caused by relevant impact threats. This is then correlated with the appropriate NDI technique, typically visual inspection, to confirm whether the damage is detectable or not. From this correlation the maximum non-de- tectable damage has to be used for damage tolerance analysis and tested experimentally, e.g. by compression after impact.

The impact resistance of CFRP sandwich structures is normally determined the same way. Two types of damage modes have been observed in impact tests on foam core sandwich structures. The first damage mode – core crushing combined with skin rupture – creates limited damage sizes in the core and tends to have good visibility. The second damage mode – core crushing extended by

core shear cracks – creates significantly larger damage sizes and tends to have less visibility. From a damage tolerance point of view core crushing and skin rupture can be treated similarly to monolithic CFRP. Core shear cracking, however, is more detrimental to the damage tolerance performance as it creates larger damage at less visibility. Avoid- ance of foam core shear cracking could thus lead to significant improvement of the damage tolerance of sandwich structures. By applying the criteria derived in this paper, e.g. during pre- liminary design, the damage mode of sandwich structures subject to a relevant impact threat can be estimated and suitable design changes can be made to avoid unwanted failure modes. It is noted that prevention of skin rupture and core shear cracking may be partly conflicting aims. Skin rupture is prevented by increasing the stiffness (modulus and/or thickness) or tensile failure strain of the skin. These modifications are, however, detrimental for core shear cracking. Core shear cracking is prevented by reducing the core shear fail- ure index s c max / s U , where s U is the shear strength of the core. Inspection of Eq. (14) reveals that this may be done in several ways. Reduction of the skin failure strain or modulus is rarely an option as this reduces the mechanical performance of the panel. Core modification involves increasing the density or thickness of the core. Both have a similar weight penalty, but it is evident that an increased core thickness is more weight efficient, as the crush stress p cr and shear strength s U of foams both are approximately proportional to the core density. It has to be kept in mind, however, that the presented failure criteria are limited to simple geometries and load cases and do not account for material non-linearity such as e.g. strain rates, plasticity of the foam core or residual stresses dating back to manufacturing of the sandwich structure.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the CTC Stade GmbH for manufacturing of the test specimens as well as Martin Rinker and Marianne John of the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials in Halle, Germany for impact testing of the specimens. The impact tests were funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy through the Federal Aeronautical Research Program IV (LuFo IV-2) within the project LoKosT. The authors gratefully acknowledge this support.

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