Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Sandwich panels based on 3-dimensional sandwich fabrics

New production processes and applications of 3-dimensional sandwich fabrics in integral composite sandwich structures (ICSP) have been developed.

The 3-dimensional sandwich fabric is based on an old velvet weaving technique, leading to 2 layers of fabric interconnected by pile threads that can be varied in density from 0 to up to 67 per square cm. The distance between the 2 layers can be varied from 3 to 28 mm. 3-dimensional sandwich fabrics made of glass and carbon fibres are impregnated with a matrix of epoxy, polyester or phenolic resins. The hollow space between the pile fibres can be foamed up with phenolic, syntactic, polyester, polyurethane or other foams.

Processes that have been studied include the weaving process itself, prepregging, limited resin transfer moulding (RTM) and pultrusion experiments, hand lay up and a new (patented) vacuum press technology. The foaming process has been an unforeseen subject of research. Applications that have been investigated include fireproof panels, bulletproof ammunition chambers, helicopter subframe, minesweeper hull and superstructures, bus floors and automotive parts.

The research has resulted in several technologies and exploitation areas: a patented production process for integral composite sandwich panels, indepth knowledge of weaving of 3-dimensional sandwich fabrics in glass and carbon, a new design for crash absorbing elements, a database of research results that can be used to find suitable panel compositions for a given application, and a finite element design tool (TOCO-AFICOSS) capable of predicting performance of sandwich configurations. Results achieved during the project that are already in a commercial stage include fireproof panels and various marine applications.

Reported by

Willems & van den Wildenberg BV
PO Box 95712
2508 CK Den Haag
Netherlands
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