A study of compression loading of composite laminates Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/sj139417z

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  • The compressive behavior of continuous fiber composites is not as well understood as their tensile behavior because research and industrial applications have until recently focused on the latter. Furthermore, most theoretical and experimental studies on the compression of composites have examined the case of unidirectional specimens with fibers along the loading direction (0° fibers). While this is a logical approach since it isolates the failure mode specific to this geometry (kinking), the study of multidirectional laminates is essential because these are used in all practical applications. Few theories model the compressive behavior of multidirectional laminates. None of the theories account for the stress field or the sequence and interaction of the various observed failure modes (kinking, delamination, matrix failure) specific to the multidirectional configuration. The principal objective of this investigation is to construct a realistic theory to model the compressive behavior of multidirectional composites. Compression experiments have repeatedly shown that the initial failure mode was in-plane kinking of 0° fibers initiated at the edges of the specimens. We decided to base our compressive failure theory upon interlaminar stresses because in multidirectional laminates these are known to exist in a boundary layer along the edges. This required development of an analytical theory giving the amplitude of these stresses at the free edges. We then incorporated these stresses into a new general microbuckling equation for 0° fibers. The global laminate failure strain was determined through several fiber and matrix failure criteria. Theoretical predictions were compared with experimental results obtained from compression testing of graphite/thermoplastic laminates with the same ply sequence but different off-axis ply angles. The theory correlated well with experiments and confirmed that in-plane kinking was the critical failure mode at low and medium angles, while revealing that out-of-plane buckling was responsible for failure at high angles. Furthermore, the theory correctly predicted the sequence of various fiber and matrix failure modes.
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