Impact behaviour of sandwich structures with nanoparticle reinforced composite face sheets

Abstract : Sandwich structures are lightweight structures composed of two thin, relatively dense, high strength facesheets that are glued on either side of a thick, low density core, such as foams or honeycombs. Sandwich panels with fibre reinforced plastic skins and core of polymer foam represent an important class of lightweight structural materials in many areas of such as aeronautics and aerospace, automotive and marine structures. However, some of these sandwich structures have very limited energy absorption capacity. This limitation becomes critical because these structures are susceptible to be subjected to impact. The impact damage in the case of sandwich structures may be due, in particular, to dropped tools, flights debris, bird strike, hailstorms or ballistic impacts.The resins used as the matrix in the case of sandwich panels with laminated composite facesheets are usually thermosetting resins such as epoxy resins. Due to the fragile nature of the matrix, the presence of even a slight internal delamination spreads at right angles to the applied compressive stress with disastrous results for the sandwich structure. One of the proposed solutions is the modification of the thermosetting resins with the addition of organic and inorganic particles of nanometric size. A new method of synthesis of block copolymers that self-assemble at the nanoscale would substantially reduce the problems associated with the dispersion of nanoparticles.The objective of this work is to study and better understand the improvement of impact resistance of sandwich panels with skin laminates with the addition of tri-block copolymer (Nanostrength®) in the epoxy matrix of fibre / epoxy composite. The effect of nanoparticles on the mechanical performance of the sandwich Kevlar / epoxy or glass / epoxy facesheets and Rohacell® foam core panels will be investigated by comparing the results between pure resin and resin modified by the addition of 10% Nanostrength performed using experimental testing and numerical modelling. This work will focus on two different types of impact loading; low velocity impacts with normal angle of incidence to the sample surface and low velocity impacts with parabolic trajectory. A device for three-dimensional impact has been developed to study the mechanical response of sandwich panels subjected to a parabolic trajectory impact.The finite element method is a widely used method to study the impact on structures including sandwich structures. An LS-Dyna model was developed to simulate the normal impact of composite laminates and Kevlar / Epoxy - Rohacell® foam sandwich plates. A constitutive law based on damage mechanics, available in the material library of LS-Dyna called "Composite Laminated Fabric" (MAT58) was used to represent the behaviour of composite facesheets. The input parameters of the model MAT58 were obtained by combination of tests and parametric studies. The model "Crushable foam" (MAT63) was used for the core. The macroscopic model with a phenomenological law is able to simulate the mechanical response of composite laminates and sandwich plates subjected to low velocity impacts. It may be noted that the development of sandwich panels reinforced with triblock copolymer in the matrix is a promising field of study.
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Karthik Ram Ramakrishnan. Impact behaviour of sandwich structures with nanoparticle reinforced composite face sheets. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Ecole nationale supérieure d'arts et métiers - ENSAM, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014ENAM0042⟩. ⟨tel-01132472⟩

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