Experimental investigation of kink initiation and kink band formation in unidirectional glass fiber-reinforced polymer specimens
The failure mechanism of non-slender glass fiber-reinforced epoxy prismatic specimens subjected to axial compression and different temperatures was investigated. Digital image correlation was used to map and derive the failure modes. The failure mode changed from splitting failure at ambient temperature to kinking at the onset of the glass transition temperature. The kink initiation mechanism could be clearly observed. Based on the initial waviness of the fibers, the wave amplitude disproportionally increased at one specific location up to fiber microbuckling and surrounding matrix failure; the wavelength of the initial imperfection was thereby maintained. The kink band then rapidly propagated through alternating horizontal and inclined segments leading to an overall inclined kink band of 31 on average. The kink band width doubled from around three to six times the average wavelength of the initial imperfection. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.