Finite Element Analysis of Advanced Composite Sandwich Panel Core Geometries for Blast Mitigation

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University of Delaware
The ever-present threat of terrorist activity – made plain by devastating events in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries – warrants detailed investigation into ever smarter materials and methods of combating the terrorist offense with a well-engineered defense. While the literature on the subject is voluminous, the complexity of the problem justifies continued research. This thesis in particular represents a continuation of previous experimental, analytical, and finite element modeling at the University of Delaware. With a panel typology utilizing horizontal facesheets separated by a core comprised of rows of stiffeners perpendicular to the facesheets established as optimal in previous papers, this research seeks to both perfect the previous finite element model and use it to glean some optimized geometric parameters. MATLAB code provided a more accurate load profile for a chemical explosion based on Kinney and Graham’s work. Analyses of varying connection and imperfection inputs in ABAQUS files honed the previous finite element files to more accurately model experimental results. Using the results, a parametric study of core geometries was executed to observe the effects of various core geometries. The analyses suggest that the ratio of stiffener spacing-to-height is a governing factor in decreasing the force effect on a protected structure.
advanced composite sandwich panel