Analysis of hygrothermally induced fiber fracture in single fiber composite using fiber Bragg grating
Hygro-thermal ageing of composite materials introduces a modification in the material properties of its constituents and the development of stresses that can lead to severe local damage like fracture of the reinforcing fibers and de-bonding of the latter from the matrix. The study of the complex stress field generated by this induced damage is helpful in designing more resistant materials. Modelling strain-stress filed in the vicinity of these discontinuities has led to the development of different analytical models like for instance shear lag models based on simplification assumptions. Recently the development of embedded optical sensors allowed to shed light on the assumptions made, since they can be used, at the same time, as reinforcement and sensors and thus being capable to give information on the strain distributions during the evolution of the damage. In this work a single fiber composite, whose reinforcement is an optical sensor, is used in order to investigate the complex strain field generated by the fiber fracture caused by the matrix swelling during water uptake.