Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Dr. Faysal Kolkailah


This study will present the Experimental, numerical and analytical characterizations of composite sandwich structures needed to optimize structure design. In this study, the effects of varying honeycomb core ribbon orientation and varying face sheet thickness’s have on the flexural behavior of honeycomb sandwich structures was investigated. Honeycomb sandwich panels were constructed using Hexcel 6367 A250-5H carbon fiber face sheets and Hexcel Nomex HRH-10-1/8-5 honeycomb cores. The mechanical properties of the constituent materials were discovered experimentally using ASTM standards and theoretical models using honeycomb mechanics and classical beam and plate theory are described. A failure mode map for loading under three point bending is developed from previous works by Triantafillou and Gibson26, showing the dependence of failure mode on face sheet to core thickness and honeycomb core ribbon orientation. Beam specimens are tested with the effects of Honeycomb core ribbon orientation and unequal face sheet thickness’s examined. Experimental data sufficiently agrees with theoretical predictions. A finite element model was developed in ABAQUS/CAE to validate experimental and analytical analysis and produced agreeable results. Optimal bending stiffness and strength with respect to minimum weight was analyzed. The results reveal an important role core ribbon orientation has in a sandwich beam’s bending behavior, and design of unequal ply count face sheets can produce higher stiffness to weight ratios than conventional symmetric sandwich structures of similar weight when subjected to a single static load.