SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2002

Damage Resistance and Damage Tolerance of Pultruded Composite Sheet Materials


The damage resistance of pultruded composites to quasi-static transverse indentation is characterized, and the damage tolerance of transversely indented composites under subsequent compression is assessed. Two specimen thicknesses are investigated. In each case four specimens are transversely indented to failure. Five load levels are selected and sets of five specimens are loaded up to each of these load levels and then unloaded. Extensive data are gathered: load-central displacement, back surface crack length, damage area obtained from X-radiography, optical photomicrographs obtained for specimens sectioned in different orientations, etc. This information is analyzed to develop the damage initiation and progression in pultruded composites. Open hole compression tests are performed on specimens of the two thicknesses, with seven hole sizes. The specimens damaged at five load levels, during transverse indentation, are tested in compression (simulating compression after impact). From the measured compressive strengths, the concept of an ‘equivalent hole diameter’ for damaged specimens is explored. The strain distributions are also compared.

Author Information

Prabhakaran, R
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Saha, M
Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Douglas, M
International Construction Equipment, Matthews, NC
Nettles, AT
Marshall Space Flight Center, AL
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Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 139–155
DOI: 10.1520/STP10636S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5464-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2893-4