Date of Award

2007

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Vincent Caccese

Second Committee Member

Donald A. Grant

Third Committee Member

Richard C. Hill

Abstract

Sandwich structures offer attractive structural advantages in terms of higher specific flexural strength and stiffness in comparison to single skin or monolithic structures. The present work aims at developing an understanding of the issues related to the numerical modeling of a truss-core laser welded sandwich panel subject to blast load and, explores the response of both sandwich and monolithic structures over a range of both dynamic and static loading. The first part of this thesis embodies a brief reference to contemporary work on finite element modeling of sandwich structures while trying to assess the broad issues associated with the different modeling approaches and their limitations. Some prior analytical studies on impact loading of plate structures are also discussed. The focus of this effort is to develop an approach for simulating blast loading using the zero period impulsive loading approach. The second part of the study is a baseline analysis of different flat plate structures, undertaken as a prelude to the sandwich plate analysis. While the focus here is to develop methodologies for analyzing plate response to dynamic loading, static loading cases are also taken up in the interest of comparison with benchmark analytical solutions. Use has been made of the commercial finite element package ABAQUS Explicit for the dynamic simulations and ABAQUS Standard for the static cases. The final part of the study pertains to a laser welded truss-core sandwich structure. The response of the structure under linear elastic and non-linear elasto-plastic regimes is studied and comparisons made with monolithic structures on an equivalent stiffness and equivalent areal density basis. Preliminary studies are suggestive of superior performance of the sandwich structure relative to a monolithic structure.

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