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Mechanical Testing of Fiber-Reinforced Composites

Dale Wilson, The Johns Hopkins University, Leif A. Carlsson, Florida Atlantic University

Types of Interlaminar Shear Test

In practice, the split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) technique, as described in the Section “High Strain Rate Testing” in this Volume, is probably the best established for producing reliable data at impact rates of strain. Several different types of interlaminar shear specimen have been developed for use with this technique (Ref 66, 67) but all have some limitations. Although very inconvenient to manufacture, thin-walled tubular specimens cut with the axis perpendicular to the interlaminar plane and tested in the torsional SHPB would seem to offer a good chance of success, and excellent results have been obtained this way for a plain-weave glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) (Ref 68). However, the continuous variation of shear direction in relation to the directions of reinforcement leads to problems in specimens with a cross-ply lay-up (Ref 69), problems that are likely to be equally if not more severe with unidirectionally reinforced specimens. This difficulty is overcome by the use of a double-lap design of specimen tested in the tensile SHPB (Ref 70). In these tests, however, the shear stress on the interlaminar failure planes shows some considerable variation, and significant normal stresses are present at the ends of the failure plane. More recently an improved single-lap design of shear specimen has been developed for testing in a modified-compression SHPB. This was first used by Bouette et al. (Ref 71) to determine shear modulus at high rates of strain and later by Bouette et al. (Ref 72) and by Dong and Harding (Ref 73) to determine interlaminar shear strength. This type of specimen has the advantage that the shear stress on the central interlaminar plane is close to uniform and the normal (peeling) stress is very mall. More recently, the most commonly used design of single-lap specimen has been the subject of a detailed analysis by Hallett et al. (Ref 74) who have shown that with a cross-ply lay-up, failure may not initiate on the central plane but in a region of stress concentration adjacent to the central interlaminar plane. Nevertheless this remains the best documented and probably the most versatile technique for composites of different lay-ups and so will be the one presented in more detail here.

Footnote

* The section “Interlaminar Shear Properties of Fiber-Reinforced Composites at High Strain Rates” was written by John Harding and Stephen Hallett, Oxford University. The section “Fatigue Testing and Behavior of Fiber-Reinforced Composites” was written by W. Steven Johnson and Ramesh Talreja, Georgia Institute of Technology.

References cited in this section

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C.Y. Chiem and Z.G. Liu, Modelling of Dynamic Behavior of Composite Materials, Proc. IMPACT 87, Impact Loading and Dynamic Behavior of Materials, C.Y. Chiem, H.-D. Kunze, and L.W. Meyer, Ed., DGM Informationsgesellschaft mbH, Oberursel, 1988, Vol 2, p 579–586

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Leber and J.M. Lifshitz Interlaminar Shear Behavior of Plain-Weave GRP at Static and High Rates of Strain,

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J. Harding and Y.L. Li, Determination of Interlaminar Shear Strength for Glass/Epoxy and Carbon/Epoxy Laminates at Impact Rates of Strain, Compos. Sci. Technol., Vol 45, 1992, p 161–171

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Technol., Vol 59, 1999, p 749–758

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