Vertically-aligned short E-glass fibre core sandwich composite: Production and evaluation

Robbie White, Venkata R Machavaram, Benjamin A Fernando, Mark A Paget, Ashwini Prasad, Gerard F Fernando

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Abstract

This paper reports on the production and evaluation of a new class of “Z-axis” composite sandwich panel where the core consists of a dense array of vertically-aligned, 3 mm long E-glass fibre composite “beams”. The E-glass fibre bundles were aligned using electrostatic charging. A procedure was developed to retain the orientation of the short-fibre bundles whilst they were impregnated and cured with an epoxy/amine resin system. The skins were manufactured from 4-ply carbon/epoxy prepregs with a layup sequence of (0,90)s. The out-of-plane compressive strength of these Z-axis composites was found to be 25.2 and 15.2 times greater than equivalent sandwich panels made with Nomex® and aluminium honeycomb cores respectively. Their compressive strength was found to increase in proportion to the density of the core. Buckling and fracture of the vertically-aligned Z-axis composite were the predominant failure modes observed. The shear and flexural properties of the Z-axis composites were comparable to equivalent honeycomb sandwich panels manufactured from Nomex® and aluminium honeycomb cores.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109963622199388
JournalJournal of Sandwich Structures and Materials
Volume24
Issue number1
Early online date27 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Sandwich composite
  • flatwise compression
  • honeycomb
  • impregnation
  • vertically-aligned

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