ASTM D6671 / D6671M - 13

    Standard Test Method for Mixed Mode I-Mode II Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Unidirectional Fiber Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composites

    Active Standard ASTM D6671 / D6671M | Developed by Subcommittee: D30.06

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.03


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    ASTM D6671 / D6671M

    Significance and Use

    5.1 Susceptibility to delamination is one of the major weaknesses of many advanced laminated composite structures. Knowledge of the interlaminar fracture resistance of composites is useful for product development and material selection. Since delaminations can be subjected to and extended by loadings with a wide range of mode mixtures, it is important that the composite toughness be measured at various mode mixtures. The toughness contour, in which fracture toughness is plotted as a function of mode mixtures (see Fig. 3), is useful for establishing failure criterion used in damage tolerance analyses of composite structures made from these materials.

    5.2 This test method can serve the following purposes:

    5.2.1 To establish quantitatively the effects of fiber surface treatment, local variations in fiber volume fraction, and processing and environmental variables on Gc of a particular composite material at various mode mixtures,

    5.2.2 To compare quantitatively the relative values of Gc versus mode mixture for composite materials with different constituents, and

    5.2.3 To develop delamination failure criteria for composite damage tolerance and durability analyses.

    5.3 This method can be used to determine the following delamination toughness values:

    5.3.1 Delamination Initiation—Two values of delamination initiation shall be reported: (1) at the point of deviation from linearity in the load-displacement curve (NL) and (2) at the point at which the compliance has increased by 5 % or the load has reached a maximum value (5 %/max) depending on which occurs first along the load deflection curve (see Fig. 4). Each definition of delamination initiation is associated with its own value of Gc and GII/G calculated from the load at the corresponding critical point. The 5 %/Max Gc value is typically the most reproducible of the three Gc values. The NL value is, however, the more conservative number. When the option of collecting propagation values is taken (see 5.3.2), a third initiation value may be reported at the point at which the delamination is first visually observed to grow on the edge of the specimen. The VIS point often falls between the NL and the 5 %/Max points.

    5.3.2 Propagation Option—In the MMB test, the delamination will grow from the insert in either a stable or an unstable manner depending on the mode mixture being tested. As an option, propagation toughness values may be collected when delaminations grow in a stable manner. Propagation toughness values are not attainable when the delamination grows in an unstable manner. Propagation toughness values may be heavily influenced by fiber bridging which is an artifact of the zero-degree-type test specimen (3-5). Since they are often believed to be artificial, propagation values must be clearly marked as such when they are reported. One use of propagation values is to check for problems with the delamination insert. Normally, delamination toughness values rise from the initiation values as the delamination propagates and fiber bridging develops. When toughness values decrease as the delamination grows, a poor delamination insert is often the cause. The delamination may be too thick or deformed in such a way that a resin pocket forms at the end of the insert. For accurate initiation values, a properly implanted and inspected delamination insert is critical (see 8.2).

    5.3.3 Precracked Toughness—Under rare circumstances, toughness may decrease from the initiation values as the delamination propagates (see 5.3.2). If this occurs, the delamination should be checked to insure that it complies with the insert recommendations found in 8.2. Only after verifying that the decreasing toughness was not due to a poor insert, should precracking be considered as an option. With precracking, a delamination is first extended from the insert in Mode I, Mode II, or mixed mode. The specimen is then reloaded at the desired mode mixture to obtain a toughness value.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes the determination of interlaminar fracture toughness, Gc, of continuous fiber-reinforced composite materials at various Mode I to Mode II loading ratios using the Mixed-Mode Bending (MMB) Test.

    1.2 This test method is limited to use with composites consisting of unidirectional carbon fiber tape laminates with brittle and tough single-phase polymer matrices. This test method is further limited to the determination of fracture toughness as it initiates from a delamination insert. This limited scope reflects the experience gained in round robin testing. This test method may prove useful for other types of toughness values and for other classes of composite materials; however, certain interferences have been noted (see Section 6). This test method has been successfully used to test the toughness of both glass fiber composites and adhesive joints.

    1.3 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D2651 Guide for Preparation of Metal Surfaces for Adhesive Bonding

    D2734 Test Methods for Void Content of Reinforced Plastics

    D3171 Test Methods for Constituent Content of Composite Materials

    D3878 Terminology for Composite Materials

    D5229/D5229M Test Method for Moisture Absorption Properties and Equilibrium Conditioning of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials

    D5528 Test Method for Mode I Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Unidirectional Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composites

    E4 Practices for Force Verification of Testing Machines

    E6 Terminology Relating to Methods of Mechanical Testing

    E122 Practice for Calculating Sample Size to Estimate, With Specified Precision, the Average for a Characteristic of a Lot or Process

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E456 Terminology Relating to Quality and Statistics


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 19.060 (Mechanical testing); 83.120 (Reinforced plastics)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D6671_D6671M

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