SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1986

A Comparison of the Fracture Behavior of Thick Laminated Composites Utilizing Compact Tension, Three-Point Bend, and Center-Cracked Tension Specimens


An experimental study of the effects of specimen configuration and laminate thickness on the fracture behavior of notched laminated composites is presented. The behavior of [0/±45/90]ns, [0/90]ns, and [0/±45]ns graphite/epoxy T300/5208 laminates was studied. When fracture toughness was computed at the failing load of the center-cracked tension specimen, laminate thickness significantly influenced fracture toughness. If fracture toughness was computed at the interception of the 5% secant line with the load-COD record, fracture toughness was found to be independent of both laminate thickness and specimen configuration. Defined in this manner, fracture toughness can be physically interpreted as an indicator of the onset of significant notch-tip damage.

Author Information

Harris, CE
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Morris, DH
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 124–135
DOI: 10.1520/STP17392S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4972-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0472-3