Flexural behavior of balsa wood cores reinforced with inorganic carbon composite

James Giancaspro, P. Balaguru, Richard Lyon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


High strength carbon fiber sheets were laminated onto lightweight balsa cores to obtain rigid and high strength sandwich beams. The inorganic matrix, called Geopolymer, cures at room temperature and is resistant up to 1000°C. The primary variables investigated were the thickness of the balsa wood core and the amount and type of carbon reinforcement on the facings. Sixty beams were tested in flexure to determine the static load-deflection response of this sandwich composite. The results and analysis indicate that the composite sandwich panels are viable in terms of fabrication and bond between the inorganic polymer and the balsa wood core. The system offers a lightweight fire-resistant structural component. The beams were analyzed as reinforced wood beams using the concepts of reinforced concrete. The results indicate that load-bearing beams and slabs can be designed to satisfy a specified load requirement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-541
Number of pages12
JournalInternational SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings)
Volume47 I
StatePublished - 2002
Event47th International SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: May 12 2002May 16 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Core materials
  • Fire resistance
  • Sandwich composites


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