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This study has investigated the damage development mechanisms in notched graphite/epoxy composite laminates during constant-amplitude compressive fatigue loading. Laminates of two different stacking sequences were tested. The relationship between fatigue damage and the resulting life, stiffness, and strength of the laminates have been observed. X-ray radiography and ultrasonic C-scanning were used to characterize and monitor the damage that occurred during the fatigue loadings. Sectioning of the damaged laminates was performed to verify the extent of the observed damage in the X-ray radiographs and ultrasonic C-scans.
Damage in both laminate types consisted of matrix cracking and delaminations. The growth of the damage was observed to have a three-dimensional nature.
composite materials, compression fatigue, residual strength, notched specimens, X-ray radiography, C-scan, composites
Engineer, Northrop Corp., Aircraft Division, Hawthorne, CA
Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA