Impact resistance and interlaminar fracture toughness of through-the-thickness reinforced graphite/epoxyFive through-the-thickness stitch configurations are analyzed to determine the effect of impact resistance and interlaminar fracture toughness on T3000/3501-6 graphite/epoxy. The test specimens were stitched with either polyester or Kevlar yarns and with various stitch parameters. Tension and compression mechanical, impact and compression-after-impact, and double cantilever beam tests were conducted. It is observed that the stitched laminates have tension and compression strengths 20-25 percent lower than the strengths of unstitched laminates, the tension strength of stitched laminates is reduced with increasing number of stitches, and the compression strength increases as the number of stitches are increased. The impact data reveal that the Kevlar stitched laminates have less damage than unstitched laminates; the most effective configuration for suppressing impact damage and improving interlaminar fracture toughness consists of Kevlar yarns 1/4 inch apart with eight stitches per inch. The mode 1 critical strain energy release rate for the 1/4 inch Kevlar eight stitch laminate was calculated as 30 times higher than that of the unstitched.
Dexter, H. B. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Funk, J. G. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)