Carbon - Geopolymer for use in structural sandwich elements

James Giancaspro, P. Balaguru, Richard Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper summarizes the results of three studies in which sandwich cores were reinforced with inorganic carbon composite and tested in flexure to examine the flexural capacity of the system. To join the carbon reinforcement to the core, an inorganic matrix known as Geopolymer was utilized. This resin is non-toxic, cures at room temperature, and is resistant up to 1000°C. In the first study, E-glass fabrics were used as a core with carbon fibers on both the tension and compression faces. The results show that glass plates with two plies of 3k unidirectional carbon fabric on both faces can attain 369 MPa as compared to 103 MPa for a 12-ply glass plate and 466 MPa for a 12-ply carbon plate. The second study investigates the increase in flexural capacity of 25 mm thick balsa wood cores reinforced with inorganic carbon composite. By adding 2 layers of a woven carbon and glass fabric to both faces, the flexural capacity can be increased by two-fold while the stiffness can be increased by five-fold over that of the plain balsa core. The third investigation focuses on a closed-cell PVC foam core reinforced with inorganic carbon composite. The moment capacity of a 13 mm thick core reinforced with one layer of 3k unidirectional carbon fabric on both faces is approximately 40,889 N-mm while that for the plain core material is only 606 N-mm. The stiffness increased by a factor of 164 from 0.5 N-m for the control to 83 N-m 2 for the reinforced sandwich beam. Significant increases in both stiffness and moment capacity were also attained for core thicknesses of 25 and 38 mm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-140
Number of pages12
JournalInternational SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event50th International SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: May 1 2005May 5 2005


  • Carbon
  • Flexure
  • Sandwich Composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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