Background: Sandwich panels with low density core constructions are a class of structural elements with superior structural performance compared to traditional solid panels. Sandwich panels, compared to solid panels of equal mass, generally have much higher bending stiffness and comparable stretching stiffness, thus undergoing smaller deformation under loading. The potential advantage of sandwich panels for mitigating shock and projectile loading has been established in literature. The previous studies related to understanding the mechanics and structural performance of sandwich structures are mainly focused on studying the behavior of the core construction or the performance of a single isolated sandwich panel. These studies have provided significant insight into the behavior of sandwich panels, which includes mechanisms of energy dissipation in the core, stages of deformation of sandwich panels as they get impinged by an intense shock, fluid-structure effects for shock waves transmitted in air and water, and the mechanism of deformation and failure of sandwich panels under shock and projectile loading. Objective: This study extends previous research by exploring the behavior and structural performance of structural systems made of sandwich walled panels. The objective is to explore the potential benefit of sandwich configurations in enhancing the overall behavior of structural systems under complex loading conditions that could occur in petrochemical industry settings and pipeline networks. Method: We considered three frame structures, (i) frames made of solid panels (ii) frames with sandwich panel side walls and (iii) frames where all walls are made of sandwich panels. We also considered sandwich walled cylinders resembling pipes and compared their performance with the mechanical behavior of traditional pipes made of solid metal hollow cylinders. We used detailed finite element models to simulate the response of these structural systems. Results: The results showed that sandwich walled frame and cylinder (pipeline) configurations, in general, undergo smaller deflection than traditional counterpart structures under both quasi-static and high intensity dynamic (shock) loadings. Conclusions: The results highlight the potential of sandwich walled structural systems for developing novel threat resistant structures especially for the petrochemical industry and pipeline networks.


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