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The resin-dominated fracture behavior of several graphite/epoxy composites has been studied using delamination of split laminates and transverse cracking of compact tension specimens. Pure Mode I and mixed Mode I/Mode II fracture behavior has been studied using specimens cut from unidirectional laminates with the critical energy release rates GIc or GI.IIc being measured. The effect on GIc of variations in resin ductility, thickness of resin-rich region through which cracking occurs, and fiber debonding has been investigated. In situ delamination fracture in a scanning electron microscope and postmortem fractography have been used to determine the micromechanisms of fracture which control GIc. A qualitative micromechanics model of delamination has been proposed and used to interpret the observed variations in GIc.
composite material, delamination, transverse cracking, mixed mode, Mode I, graphite/epoxy
Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
General Dynamics, San Diego, CA