This paper deals with free vibration analysis of thick cylindrical composite sandwich panels with simply supported boundary conditions based on a new improved higher-order sandwich panel theory. The formulation used the third-order polynomial description for the displacement fields of thick composite face sheets and for the displacement fields in the core layer based on the displacement field of Frostig's second model. In this case, the unknowns were coefficients of the polynomials in addition to displacements of the top and bottom face sheets. The fully dynamic effects of the core layer and face sheets were also considered in this study. Using Hamilton's principle, the governing equations were derived. Moreover, the effect of some important parameters such as those of thickness ratio of the core to panel, the length to radius ratio of the core and composite lay-up sequences were investigated on free vibration response of the panel. The results were validated by those published in the literature and with the finite element results obtained by ABAQUS. It was shown that thicker panels with thicker cores provided greater resistance to resonant vibrations. Moreover, the effect of increasing face sheets’ thicknesses in general was the significant increase in fundamental natural frequency values.
Cylindrical sandwich panel; Free vibration; Improved higher-order theory; Flexible core; Analytical analysis