Sandwich panels with metal foam cores have a tremendous potential in various industrial applications due to their outstanding strength-to-weight ratio, stiffness, and shock absorption capacity. A recent study paved the road towards a more economical implementation of sandwich panels, by showing that the material can be successfully bent up to large angles using laser forming. The study also developed a fundamental understanding of the underlying bending mechanisms and established accurate numerical models.
In this study, these efforts were carried further, and the impact of the foam core structure, the facesheet and foam core compositions, as well as the adhesion method on the bending efficiency and bending limit was investigated. These factors were studied individually and collectively by comparing two fundamentally different sandwich panel types. Thermally-induced stresses at the facesheet/core interface were thoroughly considered. Numerical modeling was carried out under different levels of geometric accuracy, to complement bending experiments under a wide range of process conditions. Interactions between panel properties and process conditions were demonstrated and discussed.