A new formulation is presented for the analysis of anisotropic sandwich structures with unidirectional thickness variation. The tapered sandwich structure consists of an orthotropic core with linear thickness variation and two anisotropic laminated faces with constant thickness. Three local coordinate systems are introduced to describe the independent displacements of each component. Each face is analyzed by the classical laminate theory to incorporate the bending stiffness of faces.
The analysis takes into account the geometric coupling between the core shear strain and the face normal deflection in the explicit expression existing only for tapered geometry. The expression for the total potential energy is derived and the Rayleigh-Ritz method is applied to obtain an approximate solution. Present formulation can be applied to arbitrary boundary conditions.
Numerical examples are calculated for sandwich beams and sandwich plates. Various parameters, such as core moduli ratios, taper ratios, face-to-core thickness ratios, and slenderness ratios, are employed for the analysis of sandwich beams. And core moduli ratios, taper ratios. boundary conditions, aspect ratios, and stacking sequences are introduced for the analysis of sandwich plates.
The correlation between the core shear strain and the face normal deflection is found to be very important to predict the behavior of tapered sandwich structures. Also the deflections of tapered sandwich structures are influenced by geometric parameters, boundary conditions, and material properties.