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Defense demands for aircraft and guided missiles with superior operational capabilities have necessitated the development of new types of airframe construction. Such construction must maintain its stability under loads induced by high speeds at elevated temperature. The use of structural sandwich construction comprising thin high-strength facings on thick lightweight cores constitutes a very promising construction for structural components of such high speed aircraft. The advantages of sandwich construction in providing great stiffness and strength per unit weight have been amply demonstrated for many combinations of materials at ordinary temperatures. However, sandwich constructions are comprised of several materials—facing, cores, and material used to join or bond facings to cores; hence its performance can be determined only after due consideration of structural properties of each material. Also, it may be possible in assembling a sandwich construction to alter somewhat the characteristics of the components by the assembly processes. Thus, it appears logical to evaluate sandwich behavior by tests of assembled sandwich construction at least until fundamental properties of component parts at operating temperatures can be found. A research project for the evaluation of various sandwich constructions at elevated temperatures was established at the U. S. Forest Products Laboratory by the Materials Laboratory, Wright Air Development Center. The testing techniques employed for evaluation of the constructions are described and discussed in this paper.
Kuenzi, Edward W.
Engineer, Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, Madison, Wis.