Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Golam Newaz


In this study the mechanical and electrochemical response of a sandwich composite comprising of carbon fiber fabric skin and aluminum foam core was evaluated. The three point flexural test was chosen to investigate the mechanical behavior in terms of finding the deformation and failure behavior. The flexural test exhibited an excellent bond between the skin and the core. The specimens mainly failed in three different modes - indentation, core shear and face yielding and showed three distinct regions: a linear rise in load with displacement region, a rapid load drop region and a plateau region followed by a densification region. Due high potential difference between carbon and aluminum, another part of this study was to investigate if this sandwich structure creates a galvanic cell in presence of an electrolyte. For this purpose four point probe electrode measurement method was used to monitor corrosion in the sandwich beam through change in the aluminum cores electrical resistance over. The effectiveness of a insulating barrier layer in preventing galvanic corrosion was also investigated and it was found that a polymer based glass fiber system is ineffective in preventing corrosion in these sandwich structures. The most efficient way to prevent galvanic corrosion in these type of composite beams is by insulating the dissimilar material system from the environment thus not allowing any electrolyte to come in contact.