SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1981

Environmental Effects on Composite Fracture Behavior


This paper describes the results of an experimental program investigating the effects of temperature and moisture on the damage development and fracture response of composite materials. Fracture data were obtained for graphite/epoxy composite materials that had been moisture-conditioned. The fracture response data were obtained for both room temperature and immediately after the application of a temperature transient causing the specimen to attain 150°C (300°F). Three 20-ply laminates were investigated in the tests: one typical angle-ply laminate, one laminate representative of polar/hoop-wound pressure vessels, and one laminate containing four plies of S-glass fibers representative of engine fan blades for propulsion systems. From the results it is shown that elevated temperature degrades the notched strength of some laminates while not degrading others. The unnotched strength of all laminates tested at elevated temperature was degraded. In addition to the fracture data, the influence of preloading on damage growth and moisture absorption, the effect of autoclave pressure during laminate cure on fracture, and the variation of interlaminar shear properties with layup, moisture exposure, laminate material, and cure pressure were investigated.

Author Information

Porter, TR
Boeing Aerospace Co., Seattle, Wash.
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 396–410
DOI: 10.1520/STP29320S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4800-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0700-7