Standard Historical Last Updated: Sep 19, 2016
ASTM D7956/D7956M-14

Standard Practice for Compressive Testing of Thin Damaged Laminates Using a Sandwich Long Beam Fixture Specimen

Significance and Use

5.1 This practice provides a standard method of testing damaged composite laminates which are too thin to be tested using typical anti-buckling fixtures, such as those used in Test Method D7137/D7137M. The laminate is first impacted or indented in order to produce a damage state representative of actual monolithic solid laminate structure. Impacting or static indentation is not performed on an assembled sandwich panel, as the damage state is altered by energy absorption in the core and by support of the core during the impact or indentation event. After damaging, the laminate is bonded onto the core with the impacted or indentation side of the laminate against the core, and with a localized un-bonded area encompassing the damage site. Fig. 1 illustrates the adhesive removal to avoid the damaged area and the assembly of the sandwich specimen with the impacted damaged laminate flipped over from the impacting or indentation orientation. The final assembled sandwich specimen is then tested using a long beam flexure setup with the damaged laminate being on the compression side. The sandwich panel configuration is used as a form of anti-buckling support for the thin damaged laminate.

5.2 Susceptibility to damage from concentrated out-of-plane forces is one of the major design concerns of many structures made of advanced composite laminates. Knowledge of the damage resistance and damage tolerance properties of a laminated composite plate is useful for product development and material selection.

5.3 The residual strength data obtained using this test method is used in research and development activities as well as for design allowables; however the results are specific to the geometry and physical conditions tested and are generally not scalable to other configurations.

5.4 The properties obtained using this test method can provide guidance in regard to the anticipated damage tolerance capability of composite structures of similar material, thickness, stacking sequence, and so forth. However, it must be understood that the damage tolerance of a composite structure is highly dependent upon several factors including geometry, stiffness, support conditions, and so forth. Significant differences in the relationships between the existent damage state and the residual compressive strength can result due to differences in these parameters. For example, residual strength and stiffness properties obtained using this test method would more likely reflect the damage tolerance characteristics of an un-stiffened monolithic skin or web than that of a skin attached to substructure which resists out-of-plane deformation.

5.5 The reporting section requires items that tend to influence residual compressive strength to be reported; these include the following: material, methods of material fabrication, accuracy of lay-up orientation, laminate stacking sequence and overall thickness, specimen geometry, specimen preparation, specimen conditioning, environment of testing, void content, volume percent reinforcement, type, size and location of damage (including method of non-destructive inspection (NDI)), fixture geometry, time at temperature, and speed of testing.

5.6 Properties that result from the residual strength assessment include the following: compressive residual strength FCAI.


1.1 This practice covers an approach for compressive testing thin damaged multidirectional polymer matrix composite laminates reinforced by high-modulus fibers using a sandwich long beam flexure specimen. It provides a test configuration in which the core does not constrain any protruding back side damage. It is limited to testing of monolithic solid laminates which are too thin to be tested using typical anti-buckling fixtures. It does not cover compressive testing of damaged sandwich panel facings. The composite material forms are limited to continuous-fiber or discontinuous-fiber (tape or fabric, or both) reinforced composites in which the laminate is balanced and symmetric with respect to the test direction

1.2 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

1.2.1 Within the text the inch-pound units are shown in brackets.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 15.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D30.09
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D7956_D7956M-14
ICS Code: 83.140.20