Fatigue Failure Criteria
The simplified failure envelopes for composite materials are not
derived from physical theories of failure, in which the actual physical
processes that cause failure on a microscopic level are integrated to
obtain a failure theory. We, instead, deal with phenomenological theories
in which we ignore the actual failure mechanisms and concentrate on the
gross macroscopic events of failure. Phenomenological theories are based
on curve fitting, so they are failure criteria and not theories of any kind
(the term theory implies a formal derivation process). Phenomenological
theories are based on curve fitting, so they are failure criteria and not
theories of any kind (the term theory implies a formal derivation process).
Unfortunately, with curve fitting, the ability to determine the failure mode
is lost. That is, curvefit failure criteria are generally disassociated with
knowledge of precisely how the material fails, only the occurrence of
failure is predicted and not the actual mode of failure. For conventional
engineering metals, the curve fitting process works fairly well; however,
the curve fitting process is less challenged for metals than for orthotropic
materials because metals are isotropic, so they do not have strengths in
different directions. Table (1) shows the wellknown failure criteria for
orthotropic materials under plane stress state.
Bernasconi A. et al., conducted tensile and fatigue tests on glass
fiber reinforced polyamide specimens with different fiber orientations,
their results showed decreasing values of elastic modulus, ultimate tensile
stress and fatigue strength for increasing values of the orientation angle.
The TsaiHill criterion allowed to predict the dependence of the ultimate
tensile strength values upon the orientation angle with good accuracy.
MingHwa R. Jen and Lee C.H., because it was difficult for them
to measure the shear strength of unidirectional specimens in the
1
laboratory they indirectly used the TsaiHill failure criterion with
measurements of tensile and compressive strengths of [45 o]16 specimens
to estimate the shear strength.
Owen M. J. and Rice D. J. studied both the static and fatigue strength
of wovenroving GFRP under uniaxial and biaxial stress conditions using
both flat laminates and thinwalled tubes. The fatigue tests were done
under tensiontension and tensioncompression conditions. Their work
was mainly concerned with different failure criteria and validating them
for wovenroving GFRP under the previously mentioned loading
conditions. They came to the following conclusions:
1 Wovenroving tubes appear to be stronger than flat
specimens
under
both
tensiontension
and
tension
compression. The reason for that was the absence of free
edges in tubular specimens.
2 The fit of an individual failure criterion varies from one type
of material to another.
3 Failure criteria disregard failure processes and hence, cannot
allow for interacting failure mechanisms. Apparently, the
degree to which a criterion fits the test results deteriorates
with increasing fatigue life.
4 For the tested cases, the modified Fischer criterion is the best
one that suits the static work, while the NorrisDistortional
Energy criterion provides the best fit for fatigue results. If
the same criterion is required for static and fatigue results,
then the NorrisDistortional energy is considered to be the
bestfit overall.
Table (1): Failure criteria
No.
Name
Mathematical formula
Max. stress
Max. strain
Hill
criterion
2
2
2
1 1
2 6
1
1
2
2 1 2 F
F1 F1 F2
2 F6
Tsai Hill
2
2
2
1
1 2 2 6 1
2
F
F1
F6
F1 2
Norris
interaction
1 2 6
1
F1 F2 F6
Norris
distortional
energy
1
1 2 2 6 1
F1
F1F2 F2
F6
1 F1
; 2 F2
F
1 1 12 2 ;
E
2
F
2
2
12 E 1
1
1
1
F1
6 F6
or
6 F6
2
1
F2
or
Hoffman
2 2 F  F
1 2
2 1c 1t
1
F1t F1c F2t F2c F1t F1c
Modified
Marin
2 k 2 F  F
2 1 2
2 1c 1t
1
F
F
F
F
1t 1c
2t 2c F1t F1c
F F
1 2c 2t
F2t F2c
2 6 1
F6
F F
1 2c 2t
F2t F2c
2 6 1
F6
where: K2 is a floating constant.
9
Tsai Wu
1
1
1
1
12
22
2H121 2 6 1
F6
F1t F1c F2t F2c
F1t F1c
F2t F2c
and the following condition must be fulfilled, for stability:
1
2
H12
0
F1t F1c F2t F2c
Table (1) continue: Failure criteria.
No.
Name
10
Ashkenazi
Mathematical formula
2
1 2 6
2F121 2 1
F1 F2 F6
4
1
1
1
where: x is the global stress of
F12 0.5
2 F2 F2 F2
1
2
6
x
45o in tension
11
The same formula as Tsai Wu, but H12 takes the form:
Tsai Hahn
H12  0.5
12
Cowin
The same formula as Tsai Wu, but H12 takes the form:
H12
13
Fischer
1
F1t F1c F2t F2c
1
1
F1t F1c F2t F2c 2F62
2
2 6 2
1
k 1 2 2 1 ; where:
F2 F2 F6
F1
1
E11 21 E 2 1 12
2 E1E 2 1 21 1 12
Where:
 (1) and (2) are the local stress components in directions (1)
and (2), respectively.

(6) is the local shear stress component.
(F1t) & (F1c) and (F2t) & (F2c) are the local tension and
compression strength components in directions (1) and (2),
respectively.
(F6) is the local shear strength component.
(12) & (21) represent Poissons ratios in the local directions.
 (E1)&(E2) are the local modullii of elasticity in directions (1)
and (2), respectively.
 (H12) Normal interaction component of a strength tensor
4
Owen M. J. et al., tested thinwalled tubes under combined axial
loading and internal pressure, both for static and dynamic loading. A
limited degree of agreement between failure criteria and results could be
obtained except those criteria that involve complex stress properties. For
static results, NorrisInteraction failure criterion provided the most
acceptable prediction and was thus useful when complex stress data is not
available. In some selected ratios of (y / x), where y and x are the
normal global stress components, Hoffman and Norris criteria gave better
fit with static results, and the TsaiWu criterion was strictly invalid since
the magnitude of H12 violated the imposed stability condition shown in
Table (1). They concluded that NorrisInteraction failure criterion was
reasonable for both static and fatigue rupture if xy = 0, but it was
unacceptable if xy 0 in fatigue loading. They also concluded that failure
criteria do not pay any heed to damage mechanisms or failure modes.
Yang G., used the TsaiHill criterion successfully for his
investigation of strength in the case of glass and carbon reinforced
composite plates subjected to offaxis tension and compression. He
reported that the application of this model for predicting the offaxis
shear stress vs. fiber angle was not useful.
The mean goal of the study of Fuchs C. et al. was to check the
extent of TsaiHill criterion applicability to polymerpolymer microfibril
reinforced composites for characterizing their mechanical behavior, and
they found that samples with such a structure provide a good scope for
verifying the application of TsaiHill criterion to polymerpolymer
composites.
Atcholi K. E. et al. concluded that, using Hill's function could give
good results if the fatigue cycle is symmetric (zero mean stress) and
5
therefore, the smaller difference between tensile and compressive
strength has to be accounted for. This is true for unidirectional glass fiber
reinforced epoxy. For other materials with more complex structures,
complicated functions, as TsaiWu criterion may be required.
Guess T. R., tested thinwalled filament winding epoxy matrix
composites under uniaxial tensile or biaxial stress tests with two types of
winding orientation. The combined stress state of tension and hoop stress
due to internal pressure was performed. They mentioned that the
analytical prediction of elastic constants and strength of highly
anisotropic composites is complex and always requires experimental
verification.
Applicability of Failure Criteria:
To evaluate the validity of the failure criteria, we shall consider the right
hand side of the equations representing the failure criteria as a relative
damage. The relation between the relative damage (R.D.) with the
number of cycles to failure (N) is constructed for different criteria. In
these curves as much as they are close to unity, this means the validity of
the particular criterion to the test conditions. If it less than unity, then the
criterion is predicting a specimen life more than the actual life of the
experiment.
Selecting Suitable Failure Criteria:
Many works had been done considering the suitability of failure criteria
to similar materials. Considering these works, we found that the most
widely used and suitable criteria for GFRP under different loading
conditions were the following criteria:
123456
Hill
Tsai  Hahn
Norris  Distortional Energy
Tsai  Hill
Tsai Wu
Norris & McKinnon
Case Study:
We used the local stress components of some fiber orientations [0,90o]2s,
[30o,60o]2s, [45o]2s and [60o,30o]2s specimens to be substituted in the
selected six criteria. This substitution has shown that all failure criteria
have the same form for the [0,90o]2s specimens, as shown in Table (2).
But for other fiber orientations there are different equations according to
the failure criterion.
Table (2): Selected failure criteria.
Failure Criterion
1 Hill
[30o,60o]2s, [45o]2s and [60o,30o]2s
2
[0,90o]2s Specimens
1 2 6
2 1 2 1
F1 F2 F6
F1F2
2 TsaiHahn
3 NorrisDistortional
4 Tsai Hill
5 Tsai Wu
6 Norris & McKinnon
1 2 6 1 2
1
F1 F2 F6 F1F2
2
1 2 6
2 1 2 1
F1 F2 F6
F1F2
2
1 6
1
F1 F6
1 2 6
1
F1 F2 F6
The Relative Damage for [0, 90o]2s Specimens:
The relative damage (R.D.) were calculated, according to the
pervious failure criteria, for the [0, 90o]2s specimens under completely
reversed pure bending, completely reversed pure torsion and combined
bending and torsion fatigue loading with different negative and positive
stress ratios ( R = 1, 0.75, 0.5, 0.25, 0, 0.25, 0.5). Figure (623)
represents the relative damage for the [0, 90o]2s specimens against the
number of cycles to failure. The values of R.D. is far from unity. This
means that, the available different failure criteria are not suitable under
theses conditions and must be modified to best suit the studied case.
The Relative Damage for [30 o,60o]2s, [45o]2s and [60o,30o]2s
Specimens:
The figures represent the relative damage for the [30o,60o]2s,
[45o]2s and [60o,30o]2s specimens under completely reversed pure
bending, completely reversed pure torsion and combined bending and
torsion fatigue loading with different negative and positive stress ratios (
R = 1, 0.75, 0.5, 0.25, 0, 0.25, 0.5) against the number of cycles to
failure. From these Figures, it can be noticed that these faliure criteria are
not valid and must be modified.
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
1.5
1.4
1.3
1.2
R.D.
1.1
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
Cycles to failure (N)
R.D. of all failure criteria for the [0, 90o]2s specimens
1E+6
3.8
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
3.5
3.3
3.0
2.8
R.D.
2.5
2.3
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying Hill failure criterion for the [30o,60o]2s specimens
3.8
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
3.5
3.3
R.D.
3.0
2.8
2.5
2.3
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying TsaiHahn failure criterion for the [30o,60o]2s specimens
10
3.0
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.8
2.5
2.3
R.D.
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying TsaiWu failure criterion for the [30o,60o]2s specimens.
11
3.0
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.8
2.5
R.D.
2.3
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying Norris & McKinnon failure criterion for the [30o,60o]2s
specimens
2.6
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.4
2.2
2.0
1.8
R.D.
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying Hill failure criterion for the [45o]2s specimens
12
2.6
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.4
2.2
2.0
1.8
R.D.
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying TsaiHahn failure criterion for the [45o]2s specimens
13
2.8
2.6
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.4
2.2
2.0
1.8
R.D.
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying TsaiWu failure criterion for the [45o]2s specimens
2.8
2.6
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.4
2.2
2.0
R.D.
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying Norris & McKinnon failure criterion for the [45o]2s
specimens
14
3.0
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.8
2.5
2.3
R.D.
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying Hill failure criterion for the [60o,30o]2s specimens.
15
3.0
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.8
2.5
2.3
R.D.
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying TsaiHahn failure criterion for the [60o,30o]2s specimens
3.8
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
3.5
3.3
3.0
2.8
2.5
R.D.
2.3
2.0
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying TsaiWu failure criterion for the [60o,30o]2s specimens.
16
3.0
R=1
R =  0.75
R =  0.5
R =  0.25
R=0
R = 0.25
R = 0.5
Pure torsion R =  1
Pure bending R =  1
2.8
2.5
2.3
2.0
R.D.
1.8
1.5
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.3
0.0
1E+2
1E+3
1E+4
1E+5
1E+6
Cycles to failure (N)
Relative damage (R.D.) applying Norris & McKinnon failure criterion for the [60o,30o]2s
specimens.
17