A combined experimental and computational analysis of failure mechanisms in open-hole cross-ply laminates under flexural loading
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In this study, integrated experimental tests and computational modeling are proposed to investigate the failure mechanisms of open-hole cross-ply carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminated composites. In particular, we propose two effective methods, which include width-tapered double cantilever beam (WTDCB) and fixed-ratio mixed-mode end load split (FRMMELS) tests, to obtain the experimental data more reliably. We then calibrate the traction-separation laws of cohesive zone model (CZM) used among laminas of the composites by leveraging these two methods. The experimental results of fracture energy, i.e. G Ic and G Tc , obtained from WTDCB and FRMMELS tests are generally insensitive to the crack length thus requiring no effort to accurately measure the crack tip. Moreover, FRMMELS sample contains a fixed mixed-mode ratio of G IIc /G Tc depending on the width taper ratio. Examining comparisons between experimental results of FRMMELS tests and failure surface of B-K failure criterion predicted from a curve fitting, good agreement between the predictions and experimental data has been found, indicating that FRMMELS tests are an effective method to determine mixed-mode fracture criterion. In addition, a coupled experimental-computational modeling of WTDCB, edge notched flexure, and FRMMELS tests are adopted to calibrate and validate the interfacial strengths. Finally, failure mechanisms of open-hole cross-ply CFRP laminates under flexural loading have been studied systematically using experimental and multi-scale computational analyses based on the developed CZM model. The initiation and propagation of delamination, the failure of laminated layers as well as load-displacement curves predicted from computational analyses are in good agreement with what we have observed experimentally.
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