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Development of a Vibration Technique Based on Geometric Optimization for Fatigue Life Evaluation of Sandwich Composite Struct...

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Applied Sciences
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A major obstacle to obtaining cost-effective experimental data on the fatigue life of sandwich panels is the prohibitive amount of time and cost required to carry out millions of cycles. On the other hand, vibration techniques applied to sandwich geometries fail to match the stress patterns that are obtained from standard flexural fatigue tests. To overcome such limitations, a vibration-based fatigue technique is proposed, which entails the use of sandwich specimens whose geometries are optimized to reproduce the stress distribution observed during three point bend loading while vibrating at the first resonant frequency. The proposed vibration technique was experimentally validated. The results, compared with the average number of cycles to failure at different stress ratios obtained via the Three-Point Bending test, showed high levels of accuracy. The proposed method is robust and time effective and indicates the possibility of attaining fatigue lifetime prediction of a wide class of composite elements, such as sandwich panels.