1998-02-23

A Stressed Skin Sandwich Construction for the Automotive Industry 981015

A stressed skin sandwich construction can be an efficient and effective method of designing automotive parts that have light weight, high stiffness, and cost effectiveness. Sandwich constructions are used throughout the transportation industry -- including aerospace, where the technique found its first widespread use, watercraft, trains, and automobiles. The efficient use of thin, strong skins bonded to an inner core of lightweight material of honeycomb, foam, or other material, maximizes the sectional moment of inertia of the strong skin materials, while maintaining an overall lightweight structure. Automotive applications that currently use this technology include load floors, seats, package shelves, and floor pans. This paper will discuss a method of manufacturing sandwich panel constructions from glass mat thermoplastics (GMTs) for the outer skins and different foam types for the inner core.

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