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Current research on wood reinforcement has focused on the use of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) strips or fabrics bonded to wood members. Although significant increases in stiffness and strength have been achieved by this reinforcing technique, there is a concern about the reliable performance of the wood-FRP interface bond, which can be susceptible to delamination. The objective of this study is to present a combined analytical/experimental study to evaluate the effect of moisture on fracture toughness of composite/wood bonded interfaces under Mode I loading. A contoured double cantilever beam (CDCB) specimen is used to characterize the fracture toughness of both wood-wood and wood-FRP samples. The specimens are designed by the Rayleigh Ritz method to achieve a linear rate of compliance with respect to crack length and are calibrated experimentally and also analytically by the finite element method. Both wood-wood and wood-FRP samples are tested under dry and wet conditions, and bonded interface fracture toughness data under Mode I loading are obtained. The guidelines and procedures for the modeling and design of CDCB specimens for hybrid or dissimilar adherends using a Rayleigh-Ritz model are presented briefly, and a modified Rayleigh-Ritz method is further developed. The effect of moisture on fracture toughness is evaluated, and increases in interface fracture toughness are observed due to moisture absorption for wet wood-wood and wood-FRP samples; the toughening of the interface under moisture is due mainly to a much more plastic fracture failure mode of the interface.
fiber-reinforced plastics, wood, Mode I fracture, moisture effect, bonded interface, hybrid or dissimilar material adherends
Assistant professor, The University of Akron, Akron, OH
Teaching Professor, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Graduate research assistant, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV