Influence of Reversed Fatigue Loading on DamageEvolution of Cross-Ply Carbon Fibre Composites.


Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK), Technische Universität Dresden,Holbeinstr. 3, 01307 Dresden, Germany. [Email]


Microcrack formation and delamination growth are the main damage mechanisms in thefatigue of composites. They lead to significant stiffness loss, introduce stress concentrations andcan be the origin of subsequent damage events like buckling or fibre breakage, especially in case ofshear and compression stresses during load reversal. Fatigue experiments of carbon fibre reinforcedlaminates were conducted at several stress ratios and analysed in terms of crack and delaminationgrowth. These investigations were accompanied by microscopic imaging, digital image correlationand finite element modelling to take into account the effects of residual stresses and crack closure.It was found that residual stresses significantly change the local stress ratio in off-axis layers andlead to residual crack opening of inter fibre cracks. These cracks remain open and close under highcompression loadings only. Furthermore, crack formation under pulsating compression loadingturned out to be driven by residual stresses leading to perpendicular cracks as observed underpure tension loading. The experimental findings further confirm the severe detrimental effect oftension-compression loading on crack formation and delamination growth compared to pulsatingtension-tension or compression-compression loads.


CFRP,composite,crack growth,delamination,failure,fatigue,fracture,load reversal,microcracking,residual stresses,