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scum amis FR CER RIOR ROC CR SCI IC RIO REAR ARR RH A SIMPLE METHOD TO PREPARE FE MODELS OF HONEYCOMB SANDWICH PANELS by K, Badari Narayana, K.S. Ramanath and D.H. Bonde, ISRO-Satellite Centre, Bangalore, India INTRODUCTION Honeycomb sandwich panels are extensively used in the aerospace industry for their superior stiffness and strength-to-weight ratios. The general-purpose finite element software systems available today provide a variety of sandwich/composite layered clements for the analysis of these structural components. Often, as it may be necessary to perform a quick analysis to reflect the design changes without sacrificing the overall efficiency, an equivalent plate/shell idealization is preferred to sandwich idealization. This also allows the simplification of data preparation (which, in tum, helps in reducing the manual errors) and facilitates an easy transfer of data between various software packages. The detail of the necessary mathematical expressions to simplify finite element modelling of sandwich panels to a plate/shell idealization are given in our earlier articles (1] and [2]. For the sake of completeness and clarity, the important expressions are given in Appendix A. The main focus of this paper is to highlight the advantages of such simplified models in the analysis of ‘practical problems’. The functional behaviour of a honeycomb sandwich construction is very similar to that of a conventional ‘’ beam; with the face sheets of the panel providing the required in-plane and bending rigidity and the hon- eycomb core providing the necessary resistance to the shear loads. In order to utilize plate/shell idealization in place of sandwich elements, appropriate values for Young’s modulus - Ee , thickness - te and density - Rhoe are used for the plate/shell element. These properties can be derived by simulating a) in-plane (stretching), (b) Bending (flexure), and c) In-plane and out-of-plane (transverse) shear stiffness charac- teristics of sandwich and the equivalent plate/shell idealization THE BASIC MODELLING APPROACH ‘The stiffness of a thin sandwich face sheet with a light core can be obtained using the constitutive equations. The in-plane stiffiness of the core is neglected. For the face sheet, the transverse shear stiffiness is quite large (highly rigid), compared to the in-plane properties. Then, the membrane (A), membrane-bending coupling (B), bending (D) and transverse shear (K) stiffnesses of a thin wall sandwich structure is obtained using laminate theory [3] as (0). (a5) (0) Fon “San * Bon ~ Son ae fon ‘and =a (2) (i) 4 62 _ (0) Pon Fm 7 2 Om + en (1) 26 (2) (2) wo (7) pt. and kK, Bo te FINITE ELEMENT NENS 195 ISSUE ND.6 (DECEMBER) Page 30 where (ty +t, +t, ) 72 a (r) WHY L cay!) ty) + an) tg°"1) 9 (r= 0,1,2) By are the transverse shear modulus of the core material. If the face sheets are from the same material and have the same thickness, Sant a Can?) ande=h/ 2. One can eliminate all the coupling between A and D by setting B,,, coefficients to zero, cont (Exe: Eye Gye San. Gye, Fal Jc Safe te Equivalent shell Honeycomb sandwich Figure 1 Notation and material property specifications of sandwich laminate and equivalent shel] Following the notation of the sandwich and equivalent plate constructions shown in Figure 1, and using the relations given in Equation (1), the expressions for the in-plane, bending and shear stiffness for a sandwich with isotropic or composite facing idealized as equivalent layers, are obtained as: [1,2] (2) In-plane stifhess per unit width Zep tp = EL ty Q) b) Bending stiffness per unit width (t+ 7-2 levy t i 3 Ep te (tot tes 2 Oe Ww) = Bt 7 @G) ¢) Transverse shear stiffness per unit width 2 - G ltt tp) st = 6 t. / 1.2 (4) Where, Eg : modulus of elasticity of face sheet material, ty : facesheet thickness, t, 1 Core thickness, G_ : Core shear modulus, and v_: Poisson’s ratio of the facesheet thaterial FINITE ELEMENT NEWS 1995 ISSUE NO.6 (DECEMBER) Page 31 The two face sheets are assumed to be of equal thickness (tp) and they are thin compared to the core thickness (t.) . In Equation (3), the factor 1.2 is used to represent the parabolic stress distribution over the cross sectional area of the solid section, Expressions given in Equations (3) and (4) are generally valid for te/ty ratio larger than 10, NUMERICAL EXAMPLES “The simple theoretical expressions are derived in references [1,2] __ to prepare finite element models of honeycomb sandwich constructions. Two different models are developed, depending upon the facesheet constructions, a) the orthotropic and b) the isotropic models. These models are basically obtained from Equations (2) to (4) and are given in Equations (Al) to (A5) of Appendix A. The general purpose finite clement software, NISA [4], is used to illustrate the utility of these simplified models for solving practical problems. The following sections present the numerical results for a) A simply supported square plate under uniform transverse loads for maximum deflection and normal modes; b) Thermal distortion analysis of a reflector antenna; and ¢) Normal mode analysis of a typical spacecraft structure. a) Simply supported square plate ‘The configuration and boundary conditions of a three-layered simply supported orthotropic sandwich plate under uniform loading is shown in Figure 2. Due to double symmetry of the problem, one quarter of the geometry is analysed for central deflections and normal modes. Table 1 gives the geometry, material properties of the sandwich constructions (MODEL-1) and the properties of isotropic (MODEL-2) and orthotropic (MODEL-3) models / obtained using expressions given in Appendix A. - ¢. The results of static analysis are compared with available reference solution [5]. The model using orthotropic idealization gives accurate results, which correlates very well with reference [4] and sandwich idealization given by Model-1. Whereas, the model with isotropic shell idealization under- estimates the deflection. This discrepancy is at- tributed to the higher value of in-plane shear moduli and the orthotropic ratio of the facesheet (Efe, = 2.5). The same problem is further analysed for natural frequencies. The corresponding results are also given in Table 2, As can be seen from Table 2. the deviation in the frequencies predicted by th thotropic model and that of the sandwich elem Tess than 1 per cent. b) Thermal distortion analysis of an an- tenna reflector Figure 2 A three-layered simply supported square plate The second example considered to illustrate the effectiveness of these models is a thermal distortion FINITE ELEMENT NEWS 1995 ISSUE ND.6 (DECEMBER) Page 32