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Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

2. Literature Review
A typical sandwich panel consists of three layers. The two face layers have high density and strength. The face-sheets carry the flexural loads and utilize high strength polymer matrix composites. A lightweight, moderately stiff and soft material is used as a core which is designed to carry shear loads (Serrano-Perez et al, (2007)).

Fig 2.1 Sandwich Panel

The primary role of the core is to keep the faces at the required distance so as to improve the overall bending stiffness. Hence the sandwich panel is able to withstand high shear forces. Steel, with its high youngs modulus and its availability in sheet and corrugated forms, is very commonly used as a face material for structural sandwich panels. 2.1 Bonding between core and face material 2.1.1 Adhesives Previous works (Roberts and Kazemi, 1989) have analysed the bonding properties of reinforced concrete beam with adhesively bonded steel plate. In their work, an analytical model was created which incorporated all significant parameters which was able to quantify various failure modes observed in reinforced beams with adhesively bonded steel plates. For the sake of comparison with experimental and finite element models, physical dimensions and material properties were applied to the beam model and thus mid-span deflection and distribution of stresses were determined when subjected to bending loads. It was found that the results showed an increase in shear and normal stresses on and adjacent to the adhesive layer towards the end of the steel plate. It was also found that these stresses depend on the stiffness of the bonding and on the thickness and were high at the area termination of the steel plate. These high shear and normal stresses were found to cause ripping failure as shown in fig 2.2
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Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

Fig 2.2 Ripping failure as observed in reinforced concrete beam with adhesively bonded steel plate Source: Roberts and Kazemi, 1989

The influence of the plate and adhesive thickness on the mechanical properties of the sandwich panel has also been researched and analysed (Swamy et al, (1987)). By analysing different types of specimen with varying thickness of glue used to bond the face plate to the core and face plate thickness, they arrived at certain conclusions which could be used in effective designing of structural sandwich panels with epoxy-bonded steel faces. The limiting plate thickness that can be bonded to concrete beams was found to be affected by two factors. 1. Bond stresses at the plate-glue-concrete interfaces should be sufficiently small so as not to cause peeling or tearing of the plates under high loads. As these stresses are found to be influenced by the width of the plate(b) and the thickness of the plate(t), a minimum plate width to thickness ratio of 50 was recommended, i.e. b 50 . t

2. The ratio of neutral axis depth (in reinforced concrete, x) to effective depth (d) ratio was recommended to be 0.4, ie. . This is to ensure that the failure mode of the structural sandwich beam remains ductile failure and not brittle failure of the core. The glue thickness was found to have very little effect on the ultimate load carrying capacities of the sandwich beam, but, in thicker plates with thicker glue layers, the load carrying capacity was reduced marginally. The use of of glue normally requires the concrete core to be prepared in a mould, cured (preferably for 28 days) and then bonded to the steel facings using the adhesive. The curing time of the adhesives as recommended by various manufacturers is 14 days. As this procedure would considerably increase the amount of time required to prepare the specimen, this method of adhesion was rejected to be used for manufacturing specimen for experimental analysis.

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Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

2.1.2 Mechanical Joints (Fasteners) Roberts and Kazemi (1989), also researched the effect of fasteners such as anchor bolts being used to bond the face plate with the core. This method of bonding was found to be effective as it resists normal and peeling forces. But it is also found to have its short comings as the anchor bolts were found to cause stress concentration locally, due to sudden change in material properties of steel from the surrounding concrete and thus causing distortion of stress flow lines. This method of bonding is cost effective and less time consuming. The fasteners would hold the faces at the required distance and then using this face plates itself as the mould, the core is formed in situ. This method is commonly referred to as a stay-in-place concrete forming system in construction industry. 2.1.3 Intrinsic bonding between core and face materials The adherence of aerated concrete to steel with varying amounts of foaming reagents used, was experimentally determined by Sugma et al, (2005). Foamed concrete with foaming reagent varying from 0% to 20% wt were produced and it was found that although non-foamed concrete exhibited excellent bonding properties with steel, this property diminished with more amount of foaming agent used. 2.2 Failure mechanisms of sandwich panels The principal concern while designing a sandwich panel is the various failure mechanisms exhibited by them. In order to produce a good design of sandwich panel, the likelihood of failure by any of these mechanism should be minimised. Thus, in effect, the load carrying capacity of the sandwich panel is limited by the various failure mechanisms (Sharma et al, (2006)). They are, 1. Core shear stress 2. Deflection of sandwich panel under load 3. Bending stress on face sheets 4. Delamination at face sheet-core interface. 5. Wrinkling of the compressive face sheet 6. Compression of core or indentation beneath the loading rollers 7. Face micro-buckling

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Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

2.2.1 Core Shear Stress The stiffness and loading capacity of sandwich structures become lower as the relative density of the core decreases. While designing sandwich panels with high load carrying capacity and lightweight characteristics, the face sheets are made thinner, stiffer and stronger than the core material used. This results in face sheets being loaded due to the bending moment exerted and the core loaded mainly by shear force (Sugma et al, (2005)). The maximum shear load that can be applied on the sandwich panel is given by the equation, P = c b d where c is the shear strength of the core b is the breath of the sandwich panel and d is the thickness of the sandwich panel This equation was obtained from 'European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS), Technical Work group TWG 7.4, Mineral Wool Core Material' . 2.2.2 Deflection of sandwich panel under load The mid-span deflection of sandwich panels can be calculated using two methods (Shen et al, (2004)):1. 2. Classical sandwich beam theory Higher order sandwich panel theory (HSAPT) Preliminary European Recommendations for Sandwich Panels with Additional Recommendations for Panels with (2.1)

2.2.2.1 Classical beam theory In classical beam theory, the core is assumed to a vertically incompressible, 2 dimensional anti-plane (Allen H. G., 1969). Hence as part of the analysis, the vertical stresses and strains are neglected. The mid-span deflection in a beam is assumed to be due to the shear deformation of the core material and the bending deformation of the faces. Hence the overall mid-span deflection is obtained by the super-position of shear and bending deflections, given by the following equation. = where, is the mid-span deflection of the beam
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11 PL3 1 PL 768 D 8 U

(2.2)

Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

P is the total load acting on the sandwich panel L is the span length of the sandwich panel D is the equivalent flexural rigidity and U is the equivalent shear rigidity In this equation, the first term corresponds to the deflection due to bending and the second term represents the deflection due to shear. Considering the case of a sandwich panel, the equivalent flexural and shear rigidities (ASTM C393) can be calculated by, D= E d 3c3 b 12 G d c 2 b 4c (2.3)

U= where,

(2.4)

E is the youngs modulus of face material G is the shear modulus of core material d is the sandwich thickness c is the core thickness and b is the sandwich width 2.2.2.2 Higher order sandwich panel theory (HSAPT) The deflection obtained from classical sandwich panel theory are affected by various assumptions made in deriving these formulae and hence they are not always accurate. Accurate prediction of deflection can be done using Higher order sandwich panel theory (HSAPT). HSAPT is a numerical method incorporated in software packages and has been used to calculate mid-point deflections very accurately. Studies have been conducted to relate the results from the classical sandwich panel theory and HSAPT. Shen et al, (2004) have prescribed correction factors to be applied to the bending and shear terms of the deflection separately, based on certain criterion. According to HSAPT, HSAPT =k b bk s s where, HSAPT is the predicted total mid-span deflection. kb is the correction factor for bending b is the deflection due to bending from classical sandwich beam theory
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(2.5)

Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

kS is the correction factor for shear and S is the deflection due to shear from classical sandwich beam theory Although accurate values for kb and kS are not available, their values can be estimated from various governing conditions. 2.2.3 Bending stress on face sheet Bending stresses on the face sheet due to a four-point-bending load is usually used to compare the critical loads due to various failure criteria. As the maximum for applied on each loading point is
P 2

at one-third of the span of sandwich panel

L 3

, the maximum

bending moment on the panel is, M = P L 2 3 . (2.6)

This bending moment can be equated to the moment acting on the faces due to tension and compression of face material. M = where, A is the area of cross-section of the face material h is the distance between the two faces yf is the tensile strength of the face material and is the safety factor Hence the final expression for failure load of face material due to bending is,
P = 6A yf h L

PL A h = yf 6

(2.7)

(2.8)

where is the safety factor 2.2.4 Delamination at the face sheet-core interface This is one of the most common failure modes for sandwich panels where the bond between the core and the face materials are not adequately strong to resist the shear forces at the interface. It was been found by Sugma et al, (2005) that the bonding characteristics of metal with concrete diminishes with the increase in the amount of foaming reagent used in the cement mixture, i.e. the bonding characteristics of cement with steel decreases with the
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Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

decrease of foamed concrete density. In the work of Sugma et al, (2005) the specimen produced were cleaned by an alkaline solution at 70C, dipped in foamed and non-foamed slurries and then withdrawn. These specimen were then exposed to steam at 200C for 24 hours and they were then left in atmospheric conditions for 24 hours and they were then subjected to DC potentiodynamic polarization test. This testing method is used to measure the corrosion rate of specimen. The corrosion rates are measures in terms of corrosion potential which gives an indication of the energy required to de-bond foamed concrete from the steel specimen. This data is comparable to the bond strength between steel and concrete. The results of the test demonstrated that the corrosion rate of foamed concrete increased with increase in foaming reagent (or decreasing densities), which in turn showed that the porous structure of foamed concrete resulted in a non-continuous layer over steel. The specimen were further analysed by physically removing the foamed cement of various densities using compressed air at 0.7 MPa which was blasted on the surface. The surface was then analysed using Scanning Electron Microscopy - Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrum (SEM-EDX). These microscopic analysis of the surface of the specimen confirmed that the bonding properties of foamed concrete with metal diminished with increasing amount of foaming reagent used. As the bonding properties of foamed concrete with steel cannot be numerically related to the delamination failure loads of sandwich panels, the only conclusion that can be drawn is a corollary to that from the previous paragraph i.e., that delamination failure load decreases with increasing foaming agent used. 2.2.5 Localised compression of core under loading Localised compression of core material under loading is observed in sandwich panels with brittle core materials. Based on the research done by Li and Muthyala, (2008), it was found that the ECC underwent ductile failure with significant compressive deformation, whereas the pure concrete based specimen underwent brittle failure. Thus, ECC exhibited increased toughness but a decrease in compressive strength when compared to non-foamed concrete. Due to the use of foamed ECC as core material, the sandwich panel is susceptible to failure due to local compression of the core at loading points. To prevent local crushing, use of thin rubber or metal strips under the loading roller and the support points has been recommended in the ASTM C393 testing manual and in the ECCS report. This reduces local compressive stresses on the core due to increased loading area.
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Structural Analysis of Sandwich Panels with Foamed ECC as Core Materials

Akhil Rajagopal Kozhipuram

The local compressive stress on the core of the sandwich panel is given by,
compression = P P = Contact Area B L

(2.9)

where, compression is the local compressive stress on the core of the specimen B is the breath of the material used and L is the length of contact between the material and the face sheet. Therefore, the failure load of the sandwich panel due to core compression is, P= yc B L where, yc is the compressive yield strength pf the core material. 2.3 Specimen preparation The specimen preparation techniques are required in ensuring strong bonding characteristics between the steel and concrete core (Uddin et al, (2006)). One method is to make the surface of the steel and core material as rough as possible so as to ensure microscopic interlocking between the core and facing materials. This can be done by blasting or other abrasion techniques. The surface preparation technique has to satisfy certain criteria. Firstly, the chosen surface preparation method should remove the weak mortar and the exposed aggregate, while ensuring the availability of the highest amount of contact area. The most suitable surface preparation technique is sand brushing on the surface to expose pores and then subjecting it to pressurized air remove the loose particles and dust. 2.4 Testing There are comprehensive testing procedures enumerated in the ECCS report for sandwich panels. The principal test used to measure the mechanical properties of the sandwich panel is four-point bending test. Apart from the tests prescribed by the ECCS report, tests recommended by the American Society for Testing and Materials were also referred. From the deflection measurements obtained in the test, the flexural stiffness and the core shear rigidity, core shear stress and the facing bending stress can be determined. (2.10)

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