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An Experimental Investigation of the Mechanical Performance of EPS Foam Core Sandwich Composites Used in Surfboard Design

journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-17, 06:13 authored by Sam CrameriSam Crameri, Filip Stojcevski, Clara Usma-MansfieldClara Usma-Mansfield
Surfboard manufacturing has begun to utilise Expanded Polystyrene as a core material; however, surf literature relatively ignores this material. This manuscript investigates the mechanical behaviour of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) sandwich composites. An epoxy resin matrix was used to manufacture ten sandwich-structured composite panels with varying fabric reinforcements (carbon fibre, glass fibre, PET) and two foam densities. The flexural, shear, fracture, and tensile properties were subsequently compared. Under common flexural loading, all composites failed via compression of the core, which is known in surfing terms as creasing. However, crack propagation tests indicated a sudden brittle failure in the E-glass and carbon fibre facings and progressive plastic deformation for the recycled polyethylene terephthalate facings. Testing showed that higher foam density increased the flex and fracture mechanical properties of composites. Overall, the plain weave carbon fibre presented the highest strength composite facing, while the single layer of E-glass was the lowest strength composite. Interestingly, the double-bias weave carbon fibre with a lower-density foam core presented similar stiffness behaviour to standard E-glass surfboard materials. The double-biased carbon also improved the flexural strength (+17%), material toughness (+107%), and fracture toughness (+156%) of the composite compared to E-glass. These findings indicate surfboard manufacturers can utilise this carbon weave pattern to produce surfboards with equal flex behaviour, lower weight and improved resistance to damage in regular loading.

History

Journal

Polymers

Volume

15

Pagination

2703-2703

Location

Switzerland

ISSN

2073-4360

eISSN

2073-4360

Language

en

Issue

12

Publisher

MDPI AG