The importance of analyzing failure modes in conjunction with the development of test methods is discussed. Illustrations are chosen from four classic areas of interest: flex testing of unidirectional composites exposed to moisture, the short beam shear test, the edge delamination test, and two configurations of the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute (IITRI) compression test method. In each of these tests, the failure mode is an important consideration in accepting and interpreting the resulting data.
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