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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMPUTATIONAL STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGY
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
A Finite Element for Bending Analysis of Sandwich Composite Beams
P. Belbute1, A.L. Araújo1, S. Teixeira de Freitas2 and M. de Freitas3
1IDMEC/IST, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal
P. Belbute, A.L. Araújo, S. Teixeira de Freitas, M. de Freitas, "A Finite Element for Bending Analysis of Sandwich Composite Beams", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Computational Structures Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 37, 2012. doi:10.4203/ccp.99.37
Keywords: sandwich beams, beam elements, four point bending tests, validation.
This paper presents a new sandwich beam finite element with transversely compressible core and laminated composite face layers. The model is intended to study the bending behaviour of sandwich beams with application to bridge decks . The model is validated with experimental results conducted on several specimens of sandwich beams with steel faces and polyurethane core. A three-dimensional finite element solution is also used for comparison purposes.
The sandwich beam model is based on a layerwise approach in which the core is modelled according to a higher order shear deformation theory and the composite laminated face layers are modelled using a first order shear deformation theory. The formulation follows the same approach as described in Araújo et al.  but with transverse compressibility of the core included. The constitutive laws for material behaviour are obtained from the three-dimensional elasticity matrices for orthotropic materials with kinematic assumptions from the assumed displacement fields as the only simplifications.
Results for bending stiffness obtained using the current developed model are compared with a three dimensional finite element solution  and validated using experimental results from four point bending tests, using beams with different face and core thickness relations as well as long and short span beams. Strain distributions across the thickness of the sandwich specimens are also analysed and compared.
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