Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Composites Part B: Engineering 56 (January 2014), pp. 456–463; doi: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2013.08.070


Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


The objective of this paper is to investigate the structural response of carbon fiber sandwich panels subjected to blast loading through an integrated experimental and numerical approach. A total of nine experiments, corresponding to three different blast intensity levels were conducted in the 28-inch square shock tube apparatus. Computational models were developed to capture the experimental details and further study the mechanism of blast wave-sandwich panel interactions. The peak reflected overpressure was monitored, which amplified to approximately 2.5 times of the incident overpressure due to fluid-structure interactions. The measured strain histories demonstrated opposite phases at the center of the front and back facesheets. Both strains showed damped oscillation with a reduced oscillation frequency as well as amplified facesheet deformations at the higher blast intensity. As the blast wave traversed across the panel, the observed flow separation and reattachment led to pressure increase at the back side of the panel. Further parametric studies suggested that the maximum deflection of the back facesheet increased dramatically with higher blast intensity and decreased with larger facesheet and core thickness. Our computational models, calibrated by experimental measurements, could be used as a virtual tool for assessing the mechanism of blast-panel interactions, and predicting the structural response of composite panels subjected to blast loading.