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A mechanical test technique was developed to assist in quantifying the accumulation of damage in composite materials during thermomechanical fatigue (TMF) cycling. This was accomplished by incorporating explicit mechanical property measurements into an ongoing load-controlled TMF test without disturbing the test specimen or significantly altering the test conditions. The technique allows two fundamental composite properties consisting of the isothermal elastic static moduli and the macroscopic coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) to be measured and collected as functions of the TMF cycles. The specific implementation was incorporated into the commonly employed idealized in-phase and out-of-phase TMF cycles. However, the techniques discussed could be easily implemented into any form of loadcontrolled TMF mission cycle. By quantifying the degradations of these properties, tremendous insights are gained concerning the progression of macroscopic composite damage and often times the progression of damage within a given constituent. This information should also be useful for the characterization and is essential for the verification of analytical damage modeling methodologies. Several examples using this test technique are given for three titanium metal matrix composite (MMC) laminates.
NYMA, Inc., NASA Lewis Research Center Group, Brook Park, OH
Stock #: CTR10592J