While the polymeric foam cored sandwiches have been realized for many years, recently there is a growing and outstanding interest on the use of sandwiches consisting of aluminum foam core because of their some of the distinct mechanical properties such as high bending stiffness, high load carrying and energy absorption capacities. These properties make them very useful in the transportation industry (automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding industry), where the "lightweight design" philosophy and the safety of vehicles are very important aspects. Therefore, in this study, the sandwich panels with aluminum alloy foam core and various types and thicknesses of glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) skins produced via Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) technique were obtained by using a commercial toughened epoxy based adhesive with two components. The aim of this contribution was the analysis of the bending response of sandwiches with various glass fiber reinforced polymer skins. The three point bending tests were performed on sandwich panels at different values of support span distance using a universal static testing machine in order to clarify the effects of the type and thickness of the GFRP skins in terms of peak load, energy efficiency and absorbed energy values. The GFRP skins were easily bonded to the aluminum alloy foam core under press machine with a very low pressure. The main results of the bending tests are: force-displacement curves, peak force values, absorbed energy, collapse mechanisms and the influence of the support span length and GFRP skins. The obtained results of the experimental investigation presented that the sandwich with the skin made of thicker S-Glass fabric failed at the highest load and absorbed the highest amount of energy compared to the other sandwich specimens. The increment of the support span distance made the decrease of the peak force and absorbed energy values for each type of panels. The common collapse mechanism of the panels was obtained as core shear failure which was not affected by the skin materials and the support span distance.
Interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) of fiber reinforced polymer composite is an important property for most of the structural applications. Matrix modification is an effective method used to improve the interlaminar shear strength of composite. In this paper, EPON 862/w epoxy system was modified using Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) electrospun nanofibers (ENFs) which were produced using electrospinning method. Unmodified and nanofibers modified resins were used to fabricate glass fiber reinforced polymer composite (GFRP) using H-VARTM method. The ILSS of the Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymeric Composites (GFRP) was investigated. The study shows that introduction of TEOS ENFs in the epoxy resin enhanced the ILSS of GFRPby 15% with 0.6% wt. fraction of TEOS ENFs.
Vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding (VARTM) is a promising manufacture process for making large and complex fiber reinforced composite structures. However, the complexity of the flow of the resin in the infusion stage usually leads to nonuniform property distribution of the produced composite part. In order to control the flow of the resin, the situation of flow should be mastered. For the safety of the usage of the produced composite in practice, the understanding of the property distribution is essential. In this paper, we did some trials on monitoring the resin infusion stage and evaluation for the fiber volume fraction distribution of the VARTM produced composite using the digital image correlation methods. The results showthat3D-DIC is valid on monitoring the resin infusion stage and it is possible to use 2D-DIC to estimate the distribution of the fiber volume fraction on a FRP plate.