Date of Award

6-2011

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

Faysal Kolkailah, Ph.D, P.E.

Abstract

The demand for an insert on composite sandwich structures to aid in the arrestment of face-core delamination is of great need. This research studies the use of a damage arrestment device (DAD) that connects the carbon fiber face sheets to the foam core to find whether an increase in the structural integrity of the sandwich beam results. Experimental analysis was employed to test the samples and was verified by a theoretical and finite element approach.

The mechanical properties of LTM45/CF1803 pre-impregnated carbon fiber and Last-A-foam FR 6710 polyvinylchloride foam were experimentally analyzed using ASTM D3039 and ASTM D1621 standards respectively to verify the manufacturer’s data for the given material. With all the mechanical data, the effects of adding DAD keys to a delaminated composite sandwich beam were studied under a four-point bending test using ASTM standard D6272 and compared with non-delaminated beams to see if an increase in ultimate strength could be achieved. The initial delamination in the beams under consideration was one inch in length and located in between the loaded span of the beam. Two control beams were utilized for comparison: one with no defects, and another with a one inch delamination introduced at the face-core interface. The DAD keys were added in two different configurations to potentially stop the delamination propagation and increase the ultimate strength. In the first configuration DAD keys were added 0.25 inches on either side of the initial delamination in the transverse direction and provided a significant increase in strength over the delaminated control beam. The second configuration had a DAD key running along the longitudinal axis of the sandwich beam and resulted in a significant increase in ultimate strength over the delaminated control beam. After testing ten successful samples for each of the six different configurations, it was concluded that the addition of DAD keys in both configurations significantly increased the structural integrity of both the delaminated and non-delaminated control beams.

With all the experimental data acquired, finite element models were created in COSMOS. The purpose of the finite element analysis was to validate the experimental results by comparing the deflections of the beam subjected to four-point bending during the experiment to the deflections found numerically. The deflections for the various DAD key configurations found in the experimental work were in agreement with the finite element results.