SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1986

Delamination Resistant Composite Concepts


Delamination is the most prevalent life-limiting failure mode in advanced composite structures and is a fundamental issue in their evaluation for both durability and damage tolerance. Consequently, the attainment of improved delamination resistance and, in turn, more damage tolerant composite structures has been a major goal of a significant number of materials development activities. One approach to more delamination resistant composites is a laminate construction concept in which materials are utilized in a composite construction that is tailored for maximum resistance to interlaminar forces. The double cantilever beam (DCB) test was used as a convenient method for evaluating and ranking the Mode I delamination resistance of these construction concepts since the interlaminar crack growth region of the test coupon could easily be altered and characterized as to its influence on Mode I delamination behavior. Hercules' AS1/3502 graphite/epoxy was chosen as a baseline material and the construction of the interlaminar crack growth region in the mid-plane of the laminate was varied using inner-layer materials that have previously demonstrated the potential for resisting matrix crack growth—a rubber toughened epoxy adhesive, organic fiber mats, and glass fiber mat and scrim. Resultant laminates were characterized as to their Mode I behavior using the DCB test and were also subjected to compression testing. Fractured surfaces were examined with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Results show that significant improvements in delamination resistance can be achieved by specifically tailoring the construction of the laminate.

Author Information

Browning, CE
Materials Laboratory, Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH
Schwartz, HS
Materials Laboratory, Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH
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Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 256–265
DOI: 10.1520/STP35352S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4963-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0447-1