Dynamic properties of sandwich structures with integrated shear-thickening fluids
The integration of shear-thickening fluids (STFs) into composite structures has been investigated with the aim of tuning part stiffness and damping capacity under dynamic deformation. Results from oscillatory rheological measurements for a STF based on concentrated fused silica in polypropylene glycol were correlated with results from vibrating beam tests on model sandwich structures containing layers of the same STF sandwiched between polyvinyl chloride (PVC) beams. Above a critical amplitude, the relative motion of the PVC beams provoked shear thickening of the silica suspensions, and the vibration and damping properties were significantly modified. These changes were related to the rheological response of the STF through analytical calculations of strains in the STF layers, an approach that was verified experimentally by replacing the STF with a slow-curing epoxy resin. The potential for integrating STFs into structures exposed to dynamic flexural deformation, with the aim of controlling their vibrational response, has thus been demonstrated.