Local shear buckling and bearing strength in web core sandwich panels: Model and experimental validation

Casey R. Briscoe, Susan C. Mantell, Taichiro Okazaki, Jane H. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A model and experimental validation of shear buckling and local bearing failure of web core sandwich panels are presented. Of particular interest are steel-faced panels with stiffening metal webs and a polymer core. The metal webs provide the required panel stiffness and the foam core serves the dual purposes of preventing local buckling and providing thermal insulation. In applications, such as the building sector, in which thermal performance is crucial, the webs are thin and widely spaced to reduce conduction between the face sheets. The models of shear buckling and bearing failure account for the influence of the core material on web strength and provide closed-form solutions. The models are validated by symmetric four-point bending tests to evaluate shear buckling and asymmetric three-point bending for bearing failure. The shear buckling model predicted buckling strength to within 4% of the test results. The bearing failure model overpredicted the observed strength by 11% on average, similar to test results reported in the literature for the bearing strength of webs with no foam support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalEngineering Structures
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work described in this paper was funded by the US Department of Energy , Grant Number DE-FC26-04NT42114 , and by the University of Minnesota’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. Testing was performed at the Civil Engineering Structures Laboratory with support and assistance from the staff. The foam core material was provided by BASF, which also performed the foam material property testing.


  • Bearing strength
  • Elastic foundation
  • Experimental data
  • Model
  • Pasternak
  • Shear buckling


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