Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Blast Resistance and Energy Absorption of Foam-Core Cylindrical Sandwich Shells under External Blast

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-2012


The early time, through-thickness stress wave response of a foam-core, composite sandwich cylindrical shell under external blast is examined in this paper. Solutions for the transient response of the facesheets were derived as stress waves propagated through an elastic–plastic, crushable foam core. These solutions were found to be in good agreement with results from finite element analysis. The blast response of the composite sandwich cylindrical shell was shown to be affected by the magnitude and duration of the pressure pulse. High amplitude, low duration (impulsive) pressure pulses induced the greatest energy absorption. Low amplitude, long duration pressure pulses caused minimal energy absorption. The amount of energy absorbed increased and the failure load decreased with increasing core thickness. Sandwich shells with foams of varying density, compressive modulus and crushing resistance were also examined. The sandwich shells with the foam of the highest density, compressive modulus and crushing resistance (Divinycell HCP100) were found to be the most blast resistant to failure even though no energy was absorbed by them. Per unit weight, however, the shells with a lighter, less stiff and strong, Divinycell H200 foam core were more blast resistant to failure than shells with a Divinycell HCP100 foam core.

Publication Title

Composite Structures





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