Reveal of Internal, Early-Load Interfacial Debonding on Cement Textile-Reinforced Sandwich Insulated Panels

Eleni Tsangouri, Hasan Ismail, Matthias De Munck, Dimitrios Angelis, Tine Tysmans

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Internal interfacial debonding (IID) phenomena on sandwich façade insulated panels are detected and tracked by acoustic emission (AE). The panels are made of a thin and lightweight cementitious composite skin. In the lab, the panels are tested under incremental bending simulating service loads (i.e., wind). Local (up to 150 mm wide) skin-core detachments are reported in the early loading stage (at 5% of ultimate load) and are extensively investigated in this study, since IID can detrimentally affect the long-term durability of the structural element. A sudden rise in the AE hits rate and a shift in the wave features (i.e., absolute energy, amplitude, rise time) trends indicate the debonding onset. AE source localization, validated by digital image correlation (DIC) principal strains and out-of-plane full-field displacement mapping, proves that early debonding occurs instantly and leads to the onset of cracks in the cementitious skin. At higher load levels, cracking is accompanied by local debonding phenomena, as proven by RA value increases and average frequency drops, a result that extends the state-of-the-art in the fracture assessment of concrete structures (Rilem Technical Committee 212-ACD). Point (LVDT) and full-field (AE/DIC) measurements highlight the need for a continuous and full-field monitoring methodology in order to pinpoint the debonded zones, with the DIC technique accurately reporting surface phenomena while AE offers in-volume damage tracking.
Original languageEnglish
Article number879
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


  • sandwich-insulated panel
  • interfacial debonding
  • cementitious composite
  • insulation
  • fracture
  • acoustic emission
  • digital image correlation
  • out-of-plane displacement
  • shear mode
  • cracking

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