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Materials and Design 31 (2010) 396–401

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Materials and Design


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/matdes

Stress–strain behavior of composites under high strain rate compression along


thickness direction: Effect of loading condition
N.K. Naik *, Kavala Venkateswara Rao, Ch. Veerraju, G. Ravikumar
Aerospace Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Investigations are carried out on the behavior of typical plain weave E-glass/epoxy; plain weave carbon/
Received 8 March 2009 epoxy; satin weave carbon/epoxy; and satin weave carbon – plain weave E-glass and epoxy hybrid com-
Accepted 3 June 2009 posites under high strain rate compressive loading along thickness direction. Compressive split Hopkin-
Available online 6 June 2009
son pressure bar apparatus was used for the studies. Two loading cases, namely, specimen not failed and
specimen failed during loading are investigated. The special characteristics of specimen not failed case
Keywords: are presented. For this case, the specimens are under compressive strain initially and are under tensile
Polymer matrix composites
strain during the later part of loading. The induced tensile strain is higher than the induced compressive
Mechanical properties
Impact
strain. This could lead to failure of specimen/structure under tensile strain even though the applied load
is compressive.
Ó 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

1. Introduction The objective of the present study is to investigate the behavior


of typical polymer matrix composites under high strain rate com-
Polymer matrix composites are widely used in different high pressive loading along thickness direction. Studies are carried out
performance structural applications during the last four decades. on typical plain weave E-glass/epoxy; plain weave carbon/epoxy;
Over the service life, the structures undergo different loading con- satin weave carbon/epoxy; and satin weave carbon – plain weave
ditions such as static/quasi-static, vibratory, creep, impact, blast E-glass and epoxy hybrid composites. Special characteristics of
and fatigue. For their effective use in high performance applica- the case ‘‘specimen not failed” during loading are investigated.
tions, the behavior of such materials under high strain rate loading Specifications of tows/strands, fabrics, resin and composites for
should be fully understood. Even though typical studies are avail- plain weave E-glass/epoxy and plain weave T300 carbon/epoxy are
able on the mechanical behavior of composite materials under high presented in Appendix. Satin weave carbon/epoxy composites
strain rate loading, the information is not complete for all the load- were made using 8H fabric of T300 carbon. Thickness of the satin
ing conditions. weave T300 carbon layer was 0.34 mm. Fiber volume fraction
Initial studies on high strain rate testing of materials are pre- was 0.56. For hybrid composites, 55% of carbon T300 and 45% glass
sented in [1–5]. Split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) apparatus is were used. Fiber volume fraction was 0.53.
widely used for the studies on high strain rate behavior of materi-
als [6–8]. There are typical studies on the compressive behavior of 2. Compressive split Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus
composites under high strain rate loading [8–15]. Critical reviews
are presented on this subject [16–18]. Behavior of composites un- 2.1. Experimental technique and data acquisition
der transverse impact loading is one of the critical design require-
ments. For this high strain rate compressive studies are required The standard compressive SHPB apparatus as shown in Fig. 1
along thickness direction. Typical studies are available on this sub- was used for the studies. The main parts of the compressive SHPB
ject [8,19–26]. Based on the loading conditions, the specimens may apparatus are: propelling mechanism, striker bar, incident bar,
fail or may not fail. The studies available in the literature are for the transmitter bar and support stand. The diameter of the incident
cases when the specimens have failed during compressive high and transmitter bars is 12 mm and the length was varied in the
strain rate loading. The behavior of composites can be different range of 1000–1400 mm. The length of the striker bar was varied
when the specimen does not fail during loading. in the range of 150–430 mm. The bars are made of SUS440C mar-
tensite stainless steel with Young’s modulus of 203 GPa and den-
sity of 7667 kg/m3.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 22 2576 7114; fax: +91 22 2572 2602. When the striker bar impacts the incident bar, an elastic stress
E-mail address: nknaik@aero.iitb.ac.in (N.K. Naik). pulse is generated and travels along the incident bar. When the

0261-3069/$ - see front matter Ó 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


doi:10.1016/j.matdes.2009.06.005
N.K. Naik et al. / Materials and Design 31 (2010) 396–401 397

2.3. Pulse shaper technique

To increase the rise time, smoothen the pulse and to modify the
shape of the pulse, a pulse shaper was used. Three different mate-
rials, namely copper, brass and aluminum were used for making
the pulse shapers. The diameter of pulse shaper is 12.5 mm
whereas the thickness was varied in the range of 0.5–3 mm.

3. Theory

The design of SHPB is based on one-dimensional wave propaga-


tion in elastic bars which deals with the motion of particles in lon-
gitudinal direction. The one-dimensional system can ideally be
considered to be of infinite length and negligible diameter. Since
it is not possible in practice, the theory is adopted with certain
approximations. The analytical relations to calculate strain rate,
strain and stress as a function of time in the specimen in SHPB test-
ing are:
The strain rate; e_ S ðtÞ ¼ ð2C 0 =lS ÞeR ðtÞ ð1Þ
Fig. 1. Compressive split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) apparatus: (a) schematic Z t
arrangement and (b) photograph.
The average strain; eS ðtÞ ¼ ð2C 0 =lS Þ eR ðtÞ  dt ð2Þ
0
AB
pulse reaches the specimen, which is sandwiched between the The stress; rS ðtÞ ¼ E eT ðtÞ ð3Þ
AS
incident and transmitter bars, part of the pulse is reflected and
the remaining part is transmitted through the specimen to the where C0 is the elastic wave velocity in the bars, lS the specimen
transmitter bar. The strain gauges A and B are placed at the centers gauge length, AB the cross-sectional area of the bars, AS the cross-
of incident and transmitter bars respectively for providing the sectional area of the specimen, E the Young’s modulus of the bars,
time-resolved measure of the signals. Strain gauge A measures eR the reflected strain pulse, eT the transmitted strain pulse and t
both the incident and reflected pulses, whereas strain gauge B is the time duration.
measures the transmitted pulse. The strain gauges are installed
midway of the incident and transmitter bars to avoid overlapping
4. Calibration of compressive SHPB apparatus
of the reflected signal with the incident signal and to keep the time
taken the same for both the signals to avoid time calculations dur-
For commissioning and assessing the accuracy of SHPB appara-
ing measurements of the strain. The specimen then undergoes dy-
tus, calibration was carried out first. During calibration, the two
namic elastic-plastic deformation. From the reflected pulse, the
elastic bars were wrung together without a specimen sandwiched
strain rate applied and the strain in the specimen are estimated,
between them. Lubrication was applied between the bars to mini-
and the transmitted pulse provides a measure of the stress.
mize friction. With this the incident and transmitter bars can be
The entire strain/deformation history within the specimen can
treated as a single bar. Strain gauge signals on the oscilloscope dur-
be obtained by taking measurements along the incident and trans-
ing calibration are presented in Fig. 2a. Channel 1 indicates the out-
mitter bars from strain gauges with the assistance of amplifier and
put of the strain gauge mounted on the incident bar whereas
oscilloscope. From these signals and using one-dimensional wave
channel 2 indicates the output of the strain gauge mounted on
propagation theory, strain rate verses time, strain verses time,
the transmitter bar. Here, I is the incident pulse with pulse dura-
stress verses time and stress verses strain history in the specimen
tion equal to a1a2 whereas T is the transmitted pulse with pulse
can be determined.
duration equal to b1b2. During calibration, reflected pulse (R) is
not present. The amplitude and duration of incident and transmit-
2.2. Specimen design and dimensions
ted pulses are nearly the same.
Force versus time plots are obtained from the strain gauge signals
Specimen design is one of the most important considerations in
and are presented in Fig. 2b. The force history obtained based on the
SHPB testing. From the literature it is observed that cylindrical
strain gauge mounted on the incident bar is indicated by F1 whereas
specimens with L/D ratio of 0.5–2.0 are suitable for compressive
the force history obtained based on the strain gauge mounted on the
SHPB testing of polymer matrix composites [27]. The specimen
transmitter bar is indicated as F2. It may be noted that the force his-
geometry and L/D ratio are important to achieve dynamic stress
tory obtained F1 and F2 match very well. This indicates that the stress
equilibrium within the specimen. Further, it also controls the strain
states within the incident bar and transmitter bar are exactly the
rates generated.
same. This ensures that the SHPB apparatus is perfectly aligned
In all the experiments, cylindrical specimens with L/D ratio of
and friction free. The apparatus is ready for further investigations.
0.75 were used. The diameter of the specimen used was 8 mm. This
ensures the impact on full cross-section of the specimen and also
permits the specimen to expand along radial direction within the 5. Experiments
cross-sectional area of the bars after the compressive load is
applied. Studies were carried out on compressive SHPB apparatus
Since the specimen diameter is less than the diameter of inci- (Fig. 1). For the experimental studies, cylindrical specimens of
dent and transmitter bars, there can be deformations on the faces 8 mm diameter and 6 mm length were used. The axis of the spec-
of incident and transmitted bars after repeated usage. Flatness of imens was along thickness direction of the composites.
faces of incident and transmitter bars was monitored and the faces The experimental studies were carried out at two different load-
were re-ground periodically to make them planar. ing conditions. In the first loading case, the applied force was so ad-
398 N.K. Naik et al. / Materials and Design 31 (2010) 396–401

Fig. 2. Compressive SHPB test results obtained during calibration: (a) strain gauge
signals on oscilloscope and (b) force versus time behavior.

Fig. 3. Strain gauge signals from high strain rate compressive test on SHPB – along
justed that the specimens were failing during compressive loading. thickness, plain weave E-glass/epoxy: (a) specimen failed and (b) specimen not
High strain rate compressive strength was obtained by these stud- failed.

ies. Most of the studies available in literature are of this type. High
strain rate compressive strength properties for plain weave E- both the loading cases, one and two. For loading case 1,
glass/epoxy and plain weave T300 carbon/epoxy are presented in a1a2 = a3a4 where as for loading case 2, a1a2 < a3a4.
[8]. Fig. 4 presents time versus strain rate, time versus strain and
There can be high strain rate compressive loading at which the time versus stress plots for loading case 1. These plots were ob-
specimen/structure may not fail during loading. This may be be- tained using strain gauge signals given in Fig. 3a and the analytical
cause the induced compressive stress during loading is less than relations to calculate strain rate, strain and stress as a function of
the failure stress. Such studies are of interest. In the second loading time in the specimen in SHPB testing. Here, point A indicates first
case considered, the applied force was so adjusted that the induced peak strain rate. Point E indicates peak stress. Detailed studies for
compressive stress was less than the failure stress. In this case the case when the specimen has failed are presented in [8]. It may
specimen does not fail. be noted that, during the damage process, the strain rate is not
constant. The peak stress is reached at a time interval of 62 ls.
6. Results and discussion For loading case 2, time versus strain rate, time versus strain
and time versus stress plots are presented in Fig. 5. These plots
Strain gauge signals obtained on oscilloscope during high strain were obtained using strain gauge signals as given in Fig. 3b. It is
rate testing for plain weave E-glass/epoxy along thickness direc- interesting to note that, even though applied loading is compres-
tion are presented in Fig. 3. Channel 1 indicates the output of the sive, the strain rate and strain change from compressive to tensile
strain gauge mounted on the incident bar whereas channel 2 indi- during loading. In Fig. 5, point A indicates peak compressive strain
cates the output of the strain gauge mounted on the transmitter rate whereas point C indicates peak tensile strain rate. At point B,
bar. Here, I is the incident pulse with pulse duration equal to the strain rate changes from compressive to tensile. At point D,
a1a2 whereas R is the reflected pulse with pulse duration equal strain changes from compressive to tensile. Point E indicates peak
to a3a4. And T is the transmitted pulse. Point P indicates the rise stress. The peak stress is reached at a time interval of 128 ls.
time. It may be noted that the pulse durations for incident and re- Fig. 6a presents stress versus strain plot for the case when the
flected signals are the same for the case when the specimen has specimen has failed whereas Fig. 6b presents stress versus strain
failed, i.e., for loading case 1 (Fig. 3a). On the other hand, the re- plot for the case when the specimen has not failed for plain weave
flected and transmitted pulse durations are more than the incident E-glass/epoxy. In Fig. 6a, point E indicates the peak stress, i.e., the
pulse duration for the case when the specimen has not failed, i.e., compressive strength of the specimen. It may be noted that com-
for loading case 2 (Fig. 3b). It may be noted that a1a2 = 195 ls for pressive strength is 540 MPa at strain rate of 1305 s1. The quasi-
N.K. Naik et al. / Materials and Design 31 (2010) 396–401 399

Fig. 5. High strain rate compressive test results for plain weave E-glass/epoxy –
along thickness, specimen not failed: (a) time versus strain rate plot, (b) time versus
strain plot and (c) time versus stress plot.
Fig. 4. High strain rate compressive test results for plain weave E-glass/epoxy –
along thickness, specimen failed: (a) time versus strain rate plot, (b) time versus
strain plot and (c) time versus stress plot.
and elastic strain energy. For loading case 1, the specimen has no
stored elastic strain energy at the end of loading event. The entire
static compressive strength is 420 MPa along thickness direction. energy is absorbed in the form of fracture energy. In this case, the
The quasi-static tests were carried out on universal testing ma- duration for incident and reflected signals is nearly the same
chine using similar specimens as used for SHPB testing. (Fig. 3a). The strain rate and strain are compressive throughout
Stress–strain curve, in Fig. 6b, is for loading case 2. In this case the loading (Fig. 4a and b).
the specimen does not fail. Point E indicates peak compressive Fig. 7b is for loading case 2. For this case, the energy stored in
stress for the loading considered. In this case the induced peek the specimen would be predominantly in the form of elastic strain
stress is 352 MPa. Even though the loading is compressive, induced energy. The energy absorbed in the form of fracture energy would
strain changes from compressive to tensile at point D. The peak be practically equal to zero. The peak stress is reached at a time
stress at point E can vary based on the applied compressive load- interval of 128 ls.
ing. As the applied compressive loading is increased, the stress– For loading case 2, the bars would be exerting compressive load-
strain diagram as shown in Fig. 6b would be tending towards the ing on to the specimen for the incident pulse duration a1a2 equal to
stress–strain diagram as shown in Fig. 6a. It may be noted that 195 ls (Fig. 3b). Since the specimen is not failing during loading, the
the strain state changing from compressive to tensile during com- stored elastic strain energy in the specimen would be released dur-
pressive loading is only for loading case 2. The reason for this is ex- ing the later part of the loading process. The strain rate is changing
plained below. from compressive to tensile at point B at time duration of 45 ls
Schematic of strain state in the specimen and the bars during (Fig. 5a) whereas the strain is changing from compressive to tensile
high strain rate compressive loading is presented in Fig. 7. Fig. 7a at point D at time duration of 137 ls (Fig. 5b). Up to time duration of
is for loading case 1. Here, the incident pulse duration a1a2 is 137 ls, both the bars and the specimen would be under compressive
195 ls. It may be noted that the failure of the specimen has taken strain (Fig. 7b (i)). Because of the induced tensile strain after 137 ls,
place at a time interval of 62 ls. The plots given in Fig. 4 beyond the specimen would elongate up to its original length and possibly
62 ls would indicate post failure behavior. The bars and the spec- further due to dynamic effect. The strain state is shown in Fig. 7b
imen are under compression throughout this duration. (ii). Even though the resultant strain is compressive up to 137 ls,
As the striker bar hits the incident bar, energy input into the the tensile strain would be superimposed on the compressive strain
system is absorbed by the specimen in the form of fracture energy after 45 ls in the specimen.
400 N.K. Naik et al. / Materials and Design 31 (2010) 396–401

The contact between the specimen and the bars is maintained


throughout the loading cycle. This is because, even though the
specimen is under tensile strain during the later part of loading,
the bars are still exerting compressive load.
Fig. 8 presents stress–strain plots for loading case 2 for plain
weave carbon/epoxy; satin weave carbon/epoxy; and satin weave
carbon – plain weave E-glass and epoxy hybrid composites. The
qualitative behavior of these materials is similar to that of plain
weave E-glass epoxy (Fig. 6b). The stress at E does not indicate
the compressive strength. But it indicates the peak stress induced
for the applied loading condition. It may be noted that the in-
duced tensile strain is higher than the induced compressive
strain.
The compressive strength is 532 MPa, 593 MPa, 621 MPa and
680 MPa at strain rate of 1503 s1 for plain weave carbon/epoxy;
plain weave E-glass/epoxy; satin weave carbon/epoxy; and satin
weave carbon – plain weave E-glass and epoxy hybrid composites,
respectively [26].
From Figs. 6b and 8, it can be seen that the strain is compressive
initially and tensile later in the specimen. In the third quadrant,
both the stress and strain are compressive whereas in the forth
quadrant, the stress is compressive whereas the strain is tensile.
This phenomenon can be compared to Bouchenger effect [28].

Fig. 6. Stress versus strain plot from high strain rate compressive test on SHPB –
along thickness, plain weave E-glass/epoxy: (a) specimen failed and (b) specimen
not failed.

Fig. 7. Schematic of strain state in the specimen during high strain rate compres-
sive test on SHPB – along thickness: (a) loading case 1 and (b) loading case 2.

When the specimen is expanding, the strain energy stored in


the specimen would be transferred to the incident and transmit-
ter bars. The specimen would exert pressure on both the incident
and transmitter bars. This is possible because the specimen has
not failed and has a lot of elastic strain energy stored within it.
The pulses generated due to this would be superimposed on
the earlier transmitted and reflected pulses. This would lead to
longer pulse duration for reflected and transmitted pulses
(Fig. 3b).
The strain would be compressive initially in both the bars and
specimen as shown in Fig. 7b (i). It would be tensile in the speci-
men during later part of loading. But the strain would be compres-
sive in the bars even after the tensile strain is induced in the
Fig. 8. Stress versus strain plot from high strain rate compressive test on SHPB –
specimen (Fig. 7b (ii)). The change of strain state from compressive along thickness, specimen not failed: (a) plain weave carbon/epoxy, (b) satin weave
to tensile in the specimen can be visualized from the strain gauge carbon/epoxy and (c) satin weave carbon – plain weave E-glass and epoxy hybrid
signals obtained on the oscilloscope (Fig. 3b). composite.
N.K. Naik et al. / Materials and Design 31 (2010) 396–401 401

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