Unidirectional graphite/epoxy composites exhibit high elastic anisotropy and unusual geometrical features in their elastic-property polar diagrams. From the five-component transverse-isotropic elastic-stiffness tensor we compute and display representation surfaces for Young's modulus, torsional modulus, linear compressibility, and Poisson's ratios. Based on Christoffel-equation solutions, we describe some unusual elastic-wave-surface topological features. Musgrave considered in detail the differences between phase-velocity and group-velocity surfaces arising from high elastic anisotropy. For these composites, we find effects similar to, but more dramatic than, Musgrave's. Some new, unexpected results for graphite/epoxy include: a shearwave velocity that exceeds a longitudinal-wave velocity in the plane transverse to the fiber; a wave that changes polarization character from longitudinal to transverse as the propagation direction sweeps from the fiber axis to the perpendicular axis.
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