Journal article

Effects of large scale bridging in load controlled fatigue delamination of unidirectional carbon-epoxy specimens

Fatigue delamination growth in composites is accompanied by large scale bridging (LSB) that yields important toughening effects. However, the extent of this mechanism depends on the laminate geometry rendering its modeling a challenging task. This work presents a combined experimental/numerical study on characterization of specimen thickness dependence of LSB in fatigue delamination. Double cantilever beam specimens of different thicknesses (h = 2, 4 and 8 mm), equipped with arrays of multiplexed fiber Bragg grating sensors, are subjected to mode I fatigue loads. Measured strain data with the sensors are employed to identify the bridging tractions and subsequently compute the energy release rate (ERR) due to the bridging as well as the ERR at the crack tip. The obtained results confirm that fatigue delamination growth strongly depends on the specimen geometry when LSB prevails. It is shown that both the extent of bridging and critical ERR at failure increase by increasing the specimen thickness while the maximum bridging traction at the crack tip is found independent of the specimen geometry. The identified traction separation relations serve to establish a power correlation, between the crack growth rate and ERR at the crack tip which is independent of the specimen thickness. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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