Design and Flexural Behaviour of Sandwich Panels with 2D Composite Skins and 3D Woven Cellular Core (3DWCC)

  • Elif Kalkanli

Student thesis: Phd


The use of composites has widely increased over the years. These structures have particularly attracted the attention of the aerospace industry where the low weight is one of the important features of structural design. Then, the composites have been started to use in sandwich panels. There have been many implementations of the composites in the sandwich panels due to their structural efficiency with the low weight. The aim of this research is to investigate a novel three-dimensional woven cellular core (3DWCC) for application in morphing wing for unmanned aerial vehicles. Polyester yarn is used as reinforcement and the epoxy as matrix. In order to characterise their mechanical properties, the composite cores are tested under compression in 1- and 3- directions. Then, the 3D woven composite core performance, which the cells lie in 1- direction (longitudinal), is investigated under four-point bending. The effect of skin thickness, the core topology and the core type are examined experimentally. One of the key results obtained from the experiments is that the 3DWCC, which the cells lie in 1-direction, recover their shape after the load is removed in both compression and flexural tests. In addition, the 3D woven cellular core (3DWCC) shows resistance to the bending without skin. The flexural behaviour of the sandwich panels is highly affected from the geometrical parameters of the core and skin. In this line, failure modes of the 3D woven cellular core panels and their limit loads are predicted analytically depending on variables: the skin thickness, core density, and loading configuration.
Date of Award1 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorXiaogang Chen (Supervisor) & Constantinos Soutis (Supervisor)


  • 3D woven
  • Sandwich Panel
  • Composite core

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