Modelling the deformation of a confectionery wafer as a non-uniform sandwich structure
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The aim of this research was to model the mechanical behaviour of wafers found in various confectionery products in order to optimise the manufacturing stage. Compression and bending tests showed that the mechanical behaviour of the wafer was characteristic of a brittle foam. The internal microstructure of the wafer sheet was examined with an optical microscope which showed that the wafer possessed a sandwich structure with a porous core between two denser skins. An analytical model was developed to calculate the individual moduli of the wafer core and skin sections. These modulus values were used in a finite element (FE) model which consisted of a simple repetitive geometry. The FE model simulated the linear deformation of the wafer under compression and bending. The predictions from the analytical and numerical models were compared. They were found to agree in compression but deviated under bending due to the large mismatch of the core and skin moduli.