Viscoelastic Analysis of Sandwich Beams Having Aluminum and Fiber-reinforced Polymer Skins with a Polystyrene Foam Core
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Sandwich beams are composite systems having high stiffness-to-weight and strength-to-weight ratios and are used as light weight load bearing components. The use of thin, strong skin sheets adhered to thicker, lightweight core materials has allowed industry to build strong, stiff, light, and durable structures. Due to the use of viscoelastic polymer constituents, sandwich beams can exhibit time-dependent behavior. This study examines and predicts the time-dependent behavior of sandwich beams driven by the viscoelastic foam core. Governing equations of the deformation of viscoelastic materials are often represented in differential form or hereditary integral form. A single integral constitutive equation is used to model linear viscoelastic materials by means of the Boltzmann superposition principle. Based on the strength of materials approach, the analytical solution for the deformation in a viscoelastic sandwich beam is determined based on the application of the Correspondence Principle and Laplace transform. Finite element (FE) method is used to analyze the overall transient responses of the sandwich systems subject to a concentrated point load at the midspan of the beam. A 2D plane strain element is used to generate meshes of the three-point bending beam. User material (UMAT) subroutine in ABAQUS FE code is utilized to incorporate the viscoelastic constitutive model for the foam core. Analytical models and experimental data available in the literature are used to verify the results obtained from the FE analysis. The stress, strain, and deformation fields during creep responses are analyzed. Parameters such as the viscosity of the foam core, the ratio of the skin and core thicknesses, the ratio of the skin and core moduli, and adhesive layers are varied and their effect on the timedependent behavior of the sandwich system is examined.
Roberts-Tompkins, Altramese L. (2009). Viscoelastic Analysis of Sandwich Beams Having Aluminum and Fiber-reinforced Polymer Skins with a Polystyrene Foam Core. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from