Effect of position of tension-loaded inserts on honeycomb panels used for space applications

Original Paper


This study develops a numerical framework for the analysis of the sensitivity of real potting shape with respect to the position of the insert centre inside the cell geometry. An investigation using a finite element analysis to evaluate the effect on the position of ‘through-the-thickness’ inserts type in all aluminium honeycomb sandwich panels for spacecraft applications under tensile load. Twelve positions are presented and analysed. The distribution of stress due to the critical load is also determined in the core and face sheet for different potting shape and various insert positions. The results are very satisfactory and provide adequate shear stress distributions in honeycomb core between theoretical and various positions of the finite element models. The results show also how the pull-out strength of inserts in honeycomb/cored sandwich panels affected by the placing of the insert relative to the local honeycomb structure and the shape of the potting geometry which has a significant effect on the sandwich honeycomb panel.


Honeycomb cell Insert Potting compound Finite element analysis Sandwich structures 

List of symbols

\(\hbox {E}_{\mathrm{f}}\)

Young’s modulus of face sheets

\(\hbox {F}_{\mathrm{C}}\)

Cross-sectional area of one core cell

\(\hbox {G}_{\mathrm{c}}\)

Core shear modulus

\(\hbox {G}_{1}, \hbox {G}_{2}, \hbox {G}_{3}, \hbox {G}_{4}, \hbox {G}_{5}\)

Potting shape geometry in honeycomb core for different position


Factor t determines the distribution of shear stress in the core with distance r from the insert axis, for rmax \(\rightarrow \) Kmax (height shear stress)

\(\hbox {N}_{\mathrm{PC}}\)

Number of core cells filled


Tensile load applied at insert

\(\hbox {P}_{\mathrm{crit}}\)

Insert-capability for shear honeycomb core failure

\(\hbox {P}_{1}, \hbox {P}_{2},{\ldots }\hbox {P}_{12}\)

Position of insert centre respective in the hexagonal cell

\(\hbox {S}_{\mathrm{c}}\)

Cell size


Insert radius


Potting radius


Real potting compound radius


Honeycomb core thickness


Face sheet thickness


Sandwich panel thickness

\(\hbox {h}_{\mathrm{i}}\)

Total insert height

\(\hbox {h}_{\mathrm{p}}\)

Total potting compound height


Cell wall length

\(\hbox {m}_{\mathrm{p}}\)

Potting mass


Radial distance from insert centre (point of normal load application)

\(\hbox {r}_{\mathrm{max}}\)

Radial position of maximum core shear stress


Through-the-thickness insert potting


Cell wall thickness

\({\upnu }_{\mathrm{f}}\)

Poisson’s ratio of face sheet material

\({\uptau }_{{\mathrm{c}\,\mathrm{crit}}}\)

Shear strength of the core

\({\uptau }_{{\mathrm{max}}}\)

Maximum core shear stress (the load-capability of an insert is reached when \({\uptau }_{{\mathrm{max}}} ={\uptau }_{{\mathrm{c}\,\mathrm{crit}}} )\)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de mécanique appliquée, Département de Génie MécaniqueUniversité des Sciences et de la technologie d’Oran Mohamed Boudiaf, USTO-MBOranAlgeria
  2. 2.Centre of Satellite Development (CDS)OranAlgeria
  3. 3.Laboratory of Materials and Reactive Systems LMSR, Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity Djilali LiabesSidi Bel AbbesAlgeria

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