Failure processes in unidirectional composite materials

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Failure processes in unidirectional composite materials subjected to quasi-static tensile load along the fiber direction are investigated. The emphasis in this investigation is to identify the physical processes taking place during the evolution of failure in these materials. An extensive literature review is conducted and the information relevant to the present topic is summarized. The nature of damage growth in five different commercially available composite systems are studied. In-situ scanning electron microscopy is employed for identifying the failure events taking place at the microscopic level. Acoustic emission monitoring is used for estimating the rate of damage growth on a global scale and determining the size of individual failure events.

The results of this study have shown the important roles of the matrix material and the interphase in determining the tensile strength of unidirectional composite materials. Several failure modes occurring at the microscopic scale are revealed for the first time. Further, the results indicate that dynamic fracture participates to a significant extent in determining the failure process in these materials. Based on the results of this study the influence of various parameters in determining the composite strength is described.