Behavior of sandwich beams with functionally graded rubber core in three point bending



The three-point bending behavior of sandwich beams made up of jute epoxy skins and piecewise linear functionally graded (FG) rubber core reinforced with fly ash filler is investigated. This work studies the influence of the parameters such as weight fraction of fly ash, core to thickness ratio, and orientation of jute on specific bending modulus and strength. The load displacement response of the sandwich is traced to evaluate the specific modulus and strength. FG core samples are prepared by using conventional casting technique and sandwich by hand layup. Presence of gradation is quantified experimentally. Results of bending test indicate that specific modulus and strength are primarily governed by filler content and core to sandwich thickness ratio. FG sandwiches with different gradation configurations (uniform, linear, and piecewise linear) are modeled using finite element analysis (ANSYS 5.4) to evaluate specific strength which is subsequently compared with the experimental results and the best gradation configuration is presented. POLYM. COMPOS., 2011. © 2011 Society of Plastics Engineers