Deformation and fracture modes of sandwich structures subjected to underwater impulsive loads

Lapo F. Mori*, Songsoo F. Lee, Zhen Yu Xue, Ashkan Vaziri, Doug T. Queheillalt, Kumar P. Dharmasena, Haydn N.G. Wadley, J. W. Hutchinson, H. D. Espinosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Sandwich panel structures with thin front faces and low relative density cores offer significant impulse mitigation possibilities provided panel fracture is avoided. Here steel square honeycomb and pyramidal truss core sandwich panels with core relative densities of 4% were made from a ductile stainless steel and tested under impulsive loads simulating underwater blasts. Fluid-structure interaction experiments were performed to (i) demonstrate the benefits of sandwich structures with respect to solid plates of equal weight per unit area, (ii) identify failure modes of such structures, and (iii) assess the accuracy of finite element models for simulating the dynamic structural response. Both sandwich structures showed a 30% reduction in the maximum panel deflection compared with a monolithic plate of identical mass per unit area. The failure modes consisted of core crushing, core node imprinting/ punch through/tearing and stretching of the front face sheet for the pyramidal truss core panels. Finite element analyses, based on an orthotropic homogenized constitutive model, predict the overall structural response and in particular the maximum panel displacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1981-2006
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Dynamic plasticity
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Sandwich structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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