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A new ASTM International standard will help test ‘sandwich’ panels, which are flat, lightweight, durable products often used in the cabin floors and other areas of airplanes.
According to ASTM, the new standard which is due to be published as D8067, Test Method for In-Plane Shear Properties of Sandwich Panels Using a Picture Frame Fixture, was developed by the Committee on Composite Materials (D30).
Specifically, the standard is designed to help determine in-plane shear strength and stiffness properties of sandwich panels, which have cores made of either continuous bonding surfaces (e.g. balsa wood, foams) or discontinuous bonding surfaces, such as honeycomb. The ‘picture frame’ fixture used in the test involves pinning the corners of the panel and pulling opposite corners at the same time.
Versions of this test method have already been used in the aerospace industry for design and quality control. But the standard could be even more broadly used by aircraft designers, manufacturers and suppliers, and test laboratories, according to ASTM member Stephen Ward of SW Composites.
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