Shear buckling in foam-filled web core sandwich panels using a Pasternak foundation model

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Web core panels, foam-filled sandwich panels with interior webs, are a structurally efficient option for transverse load bearing applications. In web core panels, the interaction between the webs and core material can have a substantial impact on web shear buckling strength and is a key element of lightweight structural design. The present work is an investigation of web buckling behavior in web core panels under a distributed load. To solve this problem, web shear buckling was analyzed for the case of pure shear loading with foam support, and this analytic model was extended to the case of panels with a transverse distributed load. The webs are modeled as simply supported plates resting on a Pasternak elastic foundation. To that end, a buckling model for plates on a Pasternak foundation is presented, along with closed-form approximations of the solution for square and infinitely long plates. An accurate model for the foundation constants is developed using energy methods. Applicability of the plate buckling model to web core panels with transverse loads is presented via a finite element study. In panels, the slenderness and spacing of the webs have a slight effect on the boundary conditions between the webs and face sheets. The effect is relatively small, however, and the model presented in this work underpredicts buckling strength by less than 25%. The model in this work is thus a reasonable approach to the practical design of web core panels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-468
Number of pages9
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


  • Buckling
  • Design
  • Polymer foam
  • Sandwich panel
  • Shear


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