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    Construction and Use of Toughness Maps in a Fracture Analysis of the Micromechanics of Composite Failure

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    Analytical expressions are presented that predict the debonding and pullout lengths observed in brittle fiber composites. These characteristic lengths are combined with models of four toughening mechanisms to calculate the work of fracture of a composite. The results are presented as maps showing not only contours of toughness but also the dominant toughening micromechanism. The toughness is largely determined by six material parameters, each map demonstrating the combined effect of changing two of these simultaneously.

    Maps are presented for glass-fibers in epoxy and carbon-fibers in epoxy. Their use is demonstrated by showing the effects of hygrothermal aging on the toughness of the composites.


    fiber composites, glass-fiber reinforced plastics, carbon-fiber reinforced plastics, toughness, defects, Weibull density function, micromechanics

    Author Information:

    Wells, JK
    University of Cambridge, Cambridge,

    Beaumont, PWR
    University of Cambridge, Cambridge,

    Committee/Subcommittee: D30.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP28479S