Sandwich panels are composite structures typically consisting of an inner core made from a low-stiffness, low-density material enclosed and adhered to two outer layers made from a high stiffness material. Compared to solid composite laminates, they offer better strength-to-weight ratios. This quality makes them well-suited for use in a variety of structural applications.
Want to learn more about sandwich panel materials? Read on to find out about some of the typical applications for the materials and the new sandwich panel material capabilities available at Tex Tech.
Typical Sandwich Structure Applications
There are many benefits to using sandwich panels over other structural materials, such as:
- Better product durability
- Lighter product weight
- Lower production costs
- Easier shipping requirements
- Shorter product delivery times
For these reasons, among others, these composite materials find use in a variety of structural applications. Some of the industries that regularly make use of sandwich panels include:
In the aerospace industry, designers, engineers, and manufacturers are driven to achieve high product strength while maintaining low product weight. As sandwich composite materials are strong and lightweight, they are ideal for use in aerospace structures.
Various structures in aircraft are subject to bending loads, which can lead to deflection and deformation. By using sandwich materials to construct these structures, industry professionals can achieve higher bending stiffness without increasing overall weight.
In the marine industry, structures are often exposed to moisture and saltwater, which can lead to corrosion and other damage that compromises the integrity of the structural material. Since sandwich panels are corrosion-resistant, they ideal for use in such conditions.
Due to their relatively high bending stiffness and light material weight, sandwich composites are commonly used in structural applications in the automotive industry. The materials are efficient at carrying loads and accommodating of many applications.
Sandwich Structure Materials at Tex Tech
At Tex Tech Industries, we specialize in the research, development, and manufacturing of high-performance materials. Recently, we acquired the technology to produce ZPlex, a conformable total sandwich system. The material features a closed-cell core enclosed within a 3D woven material. Its unique design allows it to adapt to a variety of shapes and forms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) About the ZPlex Sandwich System
What is it used for?
The ZPlex sandwich system is used to create cored composites with curves without the risk of delamination.
Does it crush under vacuum?
No. The material does not crush under vacuum. In fact, the closed-cell form actually swells under vacuum, which balances the bag forces.
How much resin does it soak up?
The foam core of the ZPlex sandwich system does not absorb resin. As a result, the amount of resin the system absorbs is solely dependent on the amount of resin the fibers absorb. Each gram of preform absorbs about 0.5 to .75 g of resin, depending on the process.
Is it easy to crush?
No. Once the material is cured, the Z-columns become rigid. When a load is applied to the composite, the Z-columns—not the foam—take on all of the load.
Why is it so conformable?
Similar to the rovings in our 3D woven products, the slender cores in the ZPlex sandwich system flex and move independently.
How is it made?
Both the fibers and foams are woven in a single step using our proprietary 3D woven manufacturing technology.
How thick can the material be?
The material can be made to thicknesses greater than 1.5-inch standards.
How thick can the skins be?
The skins are available in thicknesses ranging from 32 oz/yd2 to 76 oz/yd2. We allow customers to choose different skin weights on each side if needed.
Can it be used in hand lay-up applications?
Yes. Variants with 54 oz/yd2 skins have been hand-laid by wetting the mold side before laying the composite.
What fibers can be used in its construction?
The experts at Tex Tech use carbon, S-2 glass, ceramic, and various hybrid fibers to construct sandwich composite materials.
Tex Tech: Your Expert and Partner for Quality Sandwich Structure Materials
At Tex Tech Industries, our team is fully committed to giving customers the best service, highest quality products, and most innovative solutions for their engineering fabric needs. We are continually looking for ways to improve and expand on our products and services to provide an even better experience for our customers, which is why we are proud to announce we now offer ZPlex. To learn more about this sandwich system, download the ZPlex: Conformable Total Sandwich System Data Sheet.