Mode I (GIC) Fracture Toughness of Composite Sandwich Structures for Use in Damage Tolerance Design and Analysis: Volume I: Static Testing including Effects of Fluid Ingression
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Mode I (GIC) Fracture Toughness of Composite Sandwich Structures for Use in Damage Tolerance Design and Analysis: Volume I: Static Testing including Effects of Fluid Ingression

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      This report, Volume I, contains results of Mode I static testing of composite sandwich structures. It is the first of a set of three volumes. The second volume contains results of Mode I fatigue testing, and the third volume contains supplemental results of Mode I static testing of sandwich variables not tested in Volume I. In this volume, the influence of sandwich parameters, such as facesheet thickness, core type, cell size, and core density, on the onset of damage growth of sandwich composites was investigated using single-cantilever beam static testing for Mode I fracture toughness of the core-facesheet disbond. To investigate the influence of fluid ingression and entrapped fluids in sandwich structures, test specimens were conditioned in a hydraulic oil (i.e., Skydrol®) and water mixture. The fluid ingression and facesheet thickness of all the studied variables increased fracture toughness significantly. Other variables, such as cell size, core type, and core density, had a minimal effect on fracture toughness. The information gathered through this research will be instrumental in developing analytical methods and validating finite element analysis procedures to further investigate the damage growth mechanics in composite sandwich structures. The data can also be used in the design of sandwich structures constructed of similar materials and geometries tested here.
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