Demands for lightweight material have been increasing as the price of energy soared. A promising candidate is high strength polymer material, but previous research works mainly focused on molecular design (e.g. engineering plastics) or fabrication of composite material. (e.g. fiber-reinforced plastics). In this work, structured polymer sandwich panel (especially, Pyramidal Kagome sandwich panels) is proposed for the first time, and its mechanical properties were evaluated by FE (Finite Element) analysis and experiments.
It turned out that properly designed polymer sandwich panels made of common polymer such as PP (polypropylene) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) showed specific bending stiffness higher than 0.7t solid steel plate (which is used for roof of automobiles). Especially, structured cores combined with face sheets with composite material such as GFRP (Glass Fiber-Reinforced Plastic) or CFRP (Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastic) showed superior mechanical properties, weighing much less than steel plate.
Results obtained from FE analysis were verified with experiments with Pyramidal Kagome core made of PVC which was combined with face sheets with different thickness (0.3 mm and 0.6 mm) and face sheets with different materials including PS (polystyrene), PVC and GFRP. Results of these examples are analyzed and presented in this work.