Four ASTM standard shear test methods for characterizing composite materials were experimentally investigated: the short beam shear (ASTM D 2344), Iosipescu shear (ASTM D 5379), axial tension of a [±45]ns laminate (ASTM D 3518), and two-rail shear (ASTM D 4255). Six composite material systems were utilized: two thermoset matrix composites; S2 glass/3501-6 epoxy and AS4 carbon/3501-6 epoxy; and four thermoplastic matrix composites, S2 glass/polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), AS4 carbon/PEKK, E-glass/J2 polyamide and AS4 carbon/J2 polyamide.
The results obtained for both shear strength and shear modulus indicate that the various methods each have limitations and inherent inaccuracies, with no one method being clearly superior to the others in all aspects. However, the Iosipescu shear test method does exhibit a number of particularly favorable characteristics.
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