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A stochastic model is used to predict the growth of delamination in graphite/epoxy laminates subjected to cyclic loading. The advantage of this model is that both the mean and variance associated with the growth of delamination is predicted. Understanding and predicting the variability associated with the delamination growth process is essential to the estimation of the reliability of composite structures. The empirical nature of the model has been minimized through the introduction of fracture mechanics parameters into the stochastic model. This has been accomplished by assuming that the mean of the stochastic model is represented by a fracture mechanics power law based on strain energy release rate. The applicability of the model is demonstrated through an experimental program that utilizes three laminate geometries. The results of the experimental evaluation illustrate the ability of the model to predict both the mean and variance of the delamination growth process in composite laminates subjected to cyclic loading.
composite materials, fatigue, delamination, experimental, stochastic model
Union College, Schenectady, NY