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Composite materials have complex failure modes that include delamination, fiber debonding and breakage, and matrix microcracking. In this paper, the influence of these damage modes on the failure of the short-beam three-point bend test is investigated for a composite with a quasi-isotropic layup. Failure is found to initiate in a region near the point of application of the load, a location where classical-type analytical descriptions of specimen behavior are unreliable. Furthermore, the locations of failure show little reproducibility. Observed fracture behavior is explained in terms of the overall stress state in the beam before fracture, and failure is predicted from the stress map, using the maximum strain criterion.
simulation engineer, Space Kinetic Impact and Debris Branch, Phillips Laboratory, Kirktland Air Force Base, NM
Associate professor, School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
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