Transverse cracking in the bulk and at the free edge of thin-ply composites: experiments and multiscale modelling

Thin-ply composites were shown to exhibit significantly delayed transverse cracking, but the linear onset of damage scaling with ply thickness reported by Amacher et al. (2014) did not correspond to the established LEFM based in situ strength model. This study further investigates this experimental behaviour by simultaneously comparing in situ free edge crack observation with acoustic emission measurements as well as performing ex-situ X-ray tomography observations of crack propagation. A multi-scale FE model was used to better understand the damage mechanisms at play, and showed a decreasing trend of the apparent toughness with decreasing ply thickness, which explains the deviation from the existing model. Transverse cracking at the free edges was observed to propagate quickly towards the center of the specimens for the thickest plies, while in the thinnest plies it is significantly delayed, up to a point where no cracks can reach the center of the sample before final failure.

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Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Jun 11 2019
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 Record created 2019-06-11, last modified 2019-06-11

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