Identification and evaluation of the structural performance of lightweight wood-based sandwich panels of corrugated core
University of New Brunswick
Wood-based sandwich panels are widely used in construction industries because of multiple benefits such as low weight, cost efficiency, and providing optimal structural performance. A few companies are working on innovative approaches to manufacturing a wood-based sandwich panel to decrease the final weight of the panels while providing expected mechanical and physical features. The overall objective of this study was to identify and assess the mechanical performance and the effect of different variables, including edgings, specimen width size, and core direction, on the mechanical behavior and bonding quality of newly designed lightweight wood-based sandwich (LWSP) panels of corrugated core structure by conducting comparative studies with plywood and common wood-based sandwich panels to develop and improve the panel’s structural and performance characteristics. It was found that the edgings did not have a statistically significant impact at a confidence level of 95% on the stiffness and apparent Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) of full-scale panels. The major grain direction of the core structure had a significant effect on the MOE and Modulus of Rupture (MOR) of the LWSP specimens and the specimens in the major grain direction of core showed three times higher MOE and MOR than those in the minor grain direction of the core. Also, the grain direction of the core could significantly affect the bonding quality and shear capacities of the LWSP. The specimens with the major grain direction of the core direction showed three times higher horizontal shear strength than those with the minor grain direction of the core. The bonding area had a significant effect on the internal bond strength of the LWSP and the actual internal bond strength (IBRactualR) of the LWSP was 0.90 MPa, which was twice higher than the nominal internal bond strength (IBRnominalR). Based on the results and comparative studies, some recommendations have made for further product modification and development of the LWSP, i.e., increasing bonding area between core and face to improve the shear capacities and bonding quality and increasing the number of stiles in the major grain direction of the panel with an aim to improve the overall bending capacities and shear capacities.