Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Thompson, Lonny L

Committee Member

Li, Gang

Committee Member

Summers, Joshua D

Abstract

Sandwich panels with honeycomb core are often employed in structures for improved mechanical properties with lightweight. Honeycombs are defined by non-overlapping and periodic unit cells. Most research conducted on these sandwich panels focuses on stiffness and strength properties. The acoustic aspect of these panels has been focused on sound transmission loss. For acoustics, previous studies used effective honeycomb orthotropic elastic moduli based on Cartesian unit cell geometry to model the core as a homogeneous structure. While efficient, this modeling approach loses accuracy at higher frequencies. Furthermore, when used for curved panels, the effective moduli are only approximate. In this work, mechanical and acoustic characteristics of cylindrical and spherical honeycomb panels are studied using finite element analysis. The unit cell geometry core is oriented both radially and in the transverse direction. The models are analyzed for sound scattering measured by target strength with interactions between structure and the acoustic medium through coupling between the domains. Both air and water are compared for the acoustic region. Different honeycomb core geometries varying in the hexagon arrangement, number of unit cells and level of hierarchy are studied. The structures developed are constrained to have the same total mass allowing for comparisons based on only changes in stiffness properties. The effect of face sheet thickness on the mechanical and acoustic properties of the curved sandwich structures is also studied. The vibration and acoustic scattering behavior of these structures have been investigated for natural frequencies between 1-1000 Hz to predict and understand the different responses near and at resonances. The target strength response of the structures has been studied in the near field at both front and back of the structures. The effect of acoustic coupling is observed clearly on varying the outer domains properties between air and water. It is noted that the acoustic scattering characteristics of the structures depend on the frequency of the incident wave and acoustic domain properties interacting with structures. When comparing honeycomb structures to a homogeneous structure with the same mass, for cylindrical structures the first few natural frequencies are lower compared to the reference homogeneous structure, and then increases for higher modes. In the case of the spherical structure, this behavior was reversed indicating the interaction between in-plane and out-of-plane stiffness of the 3-D sphere compared to the 2-D cylinder modes.

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