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Flexure fatigue testing of 90 deg graphite/epoxy compositesA great deal of research has been performed characterizing the in-plane fiber-dominated properties, under both static and fatigue loading, of advanced composite materials. To the author's knowledge, no study has been performed to date investigating fatigue characteristics in the transverse direction. This information is important in the design of bonded composite airframe structure where repeated, cyclic out-of-plane bending may occur. Recent tests characterizing skin/stringer debond failures in reinforced composite panels where the dominant loading in the skin is flexure along the edge of the frame indicate failure initiated either in the skin or else the flange, near the flange tip. When failure initiated in the skin, transverse matrix cracks formed in the surface skin ply closest to the flange and either initiated delaminations or created matrix cracks in the next lower ply, which in turn initiated delaminations. When failure initiated in the flanges, transverse cracks formed in the flange angle ply closest to the skin and initiated delamination. In no configuration did failure propagate through the adhesive bond layer. For the examined skin/flange configurations, the maximum transverse tension stress at failure correlates very well with the transverse tension strength of the composites. Transverse tension strength (static) data of graphite epoxy composites have been shown to vary with the volume of material stressed. As the volume of material stressed increased, the strength decreased. A volumetric scaling law based on Weibull statistics can be used to predict the transverse strength measurements. The volume dependence reflects the presence of inherent flaws in the microstructure of the lamina. A similar approach may be taken to determine a volume scale effect on the transverse tension fatigue behavior of graphite/epoxy composites. The objective of this work is to generate transverse tension strength and fatigue S-N characteristics for composite materials using 3-point flexure tests of 90 deg graphite/epoxy specimens. Investigations will include the volume scale effect as well as frequency and span-to-thickness ratio effects. Prior to the start of the experimental study, an analytical study using finite element modeling will be performed to investigate the span-to-thickness effect. The ratio of transverse flexure stress to shear stress will be monitored and its values predicted by the FEM analysis compared with the value obtained using a 'strength of materials' based approach.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Peck, Ann Nancy W.
(Wyoming Univ. Laramie, WY United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: The 1995 NASA-ODU American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
Subject Category
Composite Materials
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19960020755Analytic PrimaryThe 1995 NASA-ODU American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Summer Faculty Fellowship Program
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