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This paper presents a selective analysis of the subject of composite tensile strength, emphasizing basic principles including recent advances by the author. The importance of the statistical scatter in fiber strength and local fiber over-stress caused by fiber discontinuities are discussed. Recently developed failure criteria that give good correlation with experimental data are covered. The analysis of whisker-reinforced composites, in addition to giving good strength predictions, explains why predictions of previous theories are much higher than experimental values. The applicability of the “rule of mixtures” to composite strength is discussed, and the problem of notch sensitivity is mentioned briefly.
composite materials, fiber composites, whisker composites, mechanical properties, notch sensitivity, strength, fractures, materials, failure modes, statistics, evaluation, tests
Research engineer, General Electric Company, King of Prussia, Pa.