University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > The structural performance of GRFP sandwich panels subjected to combined thermal cycling and load

The structural performance of GRFP sandwich panels subjected to combined thermal cycling and load

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Geometrically complex building envelopes are typical in contemporary architecture but conventional design approaches involve multiple independent layers which often become problematic and costly. Sandwich panels consisting of Fibre-reinforced Polymers (FRP) facings bonded to lightweight cores have successfully been used in other industries and can potentially provide an integrated, structurally and thermally efficient solution for complex building envelopes. The governing design parameter in sandwich structures is typically their flexural out-of-plane stiffness, as the deflection at serviceability limit state usually constitutes the most onerous design constraint. The flexural stiffness of a sandwich structures is very sensitive to the degree of shear transfer, and therefore on the quality of the bond, between facings and core. It is therefore essential to assess the short and long-term bonding behaviour of the facings and core interface. To do so, the mechanical properties of GFRP sandwich panels are evaluated, prior to and after artificial ageing, in order to determine their structural performance. The artificial ageing consists of freeze-thaw cycles and out-of-plane load applied simultaneously to the GFRP sandwich panels. The artificial ageing is representative of real-world conditions and the degradation of the sandwich panels is evaluated after 100 ageing-cycles. The specimen is subjected to a constant load (15% or 35% of the expected failure load), which represents realistic service loads on cladding that could induce creep deformation of the foam core. The aged GFRP sandwich panels are subsequently tested to destruction in a 3-point bending set-up to assess the influence of freeze-thaw cycles and constant loading on their structural performance.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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