Sandwich structures have been used successfully throughout the recent decades in many applications, e.g. in small, and large, fixed wing and rotorcraft structures, including many Primary structures, PSE structures and some monocoque structures. However, there have also been several significant incidents involving sandwich structures (of various configurations in various applications) which have presented a potential safety concern. In particular an international project, led by Airbus and CMH-17*, has been in progress, and continues, to better understand sandwich structure, and associated damage modes, particularly as they relate to thin skin control surfaces and the Ground – Air – Ground (GAG) cycle.
This EASA research project represents EASA support to encourage development of such understanding in order to improve the efficient safe design and use of sandwich structures in the future. This activity forms part of a broader strategy intended to address bonded structures and sandwich structures in many applications. This research also supports release of an EASA CM-S-010 ‘Composite Materials - The Safe Design and Use of Monocoque Sandwich Structures in Principal Structural Element Applications’.