Scholarly Communications Project

Mechanics of Fiber-Controlled Behavior in Polymeric Composite Materials


Scott Wayne Case

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy


Kenneth L. Reifsnider, Chair
Richey M. Davis
Scott L. Hendricks
Demetri P. Telionis
Surot Thangjitham

May 28, 1996
Blacksburg, Virginia


Modern durability and damage tolerance predictions for composite material systems rely on accurate estimates of the local stress and material states for each of the constituents, as well as the manner in which the constituents interact. In this work, an number of approaches to estimating the stress states and interactions are developed. First, an elasticity solution is presented for the problem of a penny-shaped crack in an N-phase composite material system opened by a prescribed normal pressure. The stress state around such a crack is then used to estimate the stress concentrations due to adjacent fiber fractures in a composite materials. The resulting stress concentrations are then used to estimate the tensile strength of the composite. The predicted results are compared with experimental values.

In addition, a cumulative damage model for fatigue is presented. Modifications to the model are made to include the effects of variable amplitude loading. These modifications are based upon the use of remaining strength as a damage metric and the definition of an equivalent generalized time. The model is initially validated using results from the literature. Also, experimental data from APC-2 laminates and IM7/K3B laminates are used in the model. The use of such data for notched laminates requires the use of an effective hole size, which is calculated based upon strain distribution measurements. Measured remaining strengths after fatigue loading are compared with the predicted values for specimens fatigued at room temperature and 350F (177C).

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The author grants to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.
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