Influence of Mechanical and Geometric Characteristics on Thermal Buckling of Functionally Graded Sandwich Plates

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Functionally graded materials (FGM) are a new range of composite materials having a gradual and continuous variation of the volume fractions of each of the constituents (in general, metal and ceramic) in thickness, which accordingly causes changes in the overall thermomechanical properties of the structural elements they constitute. The interest of this work is the use of a high-order plate theory for the study of thermal buckling of FGM plates resting on Winkler-Pasternak type elastic foundation. The present method leads to a system of differential equations, where the number of unknowns is five. The material properties of FGM plate such as Young's modulus and coefficient of thermal expansion are assumed to be variable through the thickness according to the Mori-Tanaka distribution model. The thermal loading is assumed to be uniform, linear and nonlinear through the thickness of the plate. A parametric study is thus developed to see the influence of the geometric and mechanical characteristics, in particular, the geometric ratio (a/b), thickness ratio (a/h) and the material index (k), as well as the impact of the Winkler and Pasternak parameters on the critical buckling load