Finite Element Modelling of Foam–Filled Sandwich Panels Subjected to Quasi–Static Low–Velocity Impact

Rudie Vella, Claire De Marco Muscat-Fenech, Pierluigi Mollicone

University of Malta


This work describes experimentally validated Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques used to model the composite facesheets and the foam–core of simply–supported sandwich panels subjected to quasi–static indentation from a hemispherical indenter. Descriptions of the modelled facesheet–core, panel–indenter and support–panel interaction behaviour are provided. Validity and computational cost of the techniques described are both taken into account in the setup of the complete FE model of the advanced hybrid composite sandwich panels. The facesheet laminate and the grooved foam–core are modelled by a single homogeneous three–dimensional (3D) cuboid with equivalent material properties and a plain 3D cuboid respectively. Perfect facesheet–core bonding is modelled by equating the three translational degrees of freedom of the respective coincident nodes at the interface. Surface–to–surface contact elements account for the behaviour of the panel–indenter and support–panel interactions.