Development of Through-Thickness Reinforcement in Advanced Composites Incorporating Rigid Cellular Foams
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- Aktas, A., Potluri, P. & Porat, I. Appl Compos Mater (2013) 20: 553. doi:10.1007/s10443-012-9285-4
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This paper presents a method of joining carbon-fibre plies and rigid cellular foam core with stitching for producing light-weight composite structures. After resin infusion and consolidation, the stitched sandwich panel exhibits superior damage tolerance as well as improved transverse properties due to the presence of through-thickness fibre reinforcement. First part of the paper deals with the conceptual development of a multi-needle stitching machine for rigid foams. A needle penetration model for computing the penetration forces has been reported—there is a good agreement between the experimental and theoretical penetration force-displacement curves. A number of sandwich panels with orthogonal and bias stitch orientations have been developed and examined for stitch quality with the aid of X-ray tomography. The paper also presents results from quasi-static indentation, three-point bending and transverse compression tests, on both the stitched and unstitched sandwich panels.