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This paper presents the results of a program investigating the effects of initial defects on the fatigue and fracture response of composite laminates. The structural laminates investigated were a typical angle-ply laminate, a polar/hoop-wound pressure vessel laminate, and a typical engine fan blade laminate. Defects investigated were full- and half-penetration circular holes, full- and half-penetration slits, and countersink holes. Results are presented showing the effects of the defect size and type on the static fracture strength, fatigue performance, and residual static strength. The results of inspection procedures are shown, describing the effect of cyclic and static loadings on damage propagation in composite laminates. The data in this study were used to define proof test levels as a qualification procedure in composite structure subjected to cyclic loading.
composite materials, graphite/epoxy composites, fracture strength, crack propagation, fatigue tests, flaws
Specialist engineer, Boeing Aerospace Company, Seattle, Wash