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Compression testing of composite materials is affected by the manner in which the compressive load is introduced. Two such effects are studied in this paper: (a) the constrained edge effect, in which transverse expansion of the edges is prevented while the axial load is introduced, and (b) nonuniform gripping, as manifested by inplane bending of the test specimen. The principle of minimum complementary energy is used to develop an analytical model that quantifies these two effects upon the measured elastic properties of laminated composites. Numerical results are presented for selected high-strength graphite/epoxy composites.
composite materials, compression testing, mechanical properties, calculus of variations, complementary energy methods, stress analysis, orthogonal functions
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Graduate student, University of Iowa, Iowa City,
NASA Langley Research Center, HamptonVa.