Mode II fracture energy, GIIC, is a critical parameter for determining the propagation of delamination in composite laminates. Its value can be affected by Through-Thickness Compression (TTC) stress acting on the crack tip and here this effect has been studied using IM7/8552 carbon/epoxy laminates with cut central plies. External TTC loads were applied through bi-axial testing. Unidirectional (UD) cut-ply specimens were used to determine the TTC enhancement factor, ηG, for GIIC. A similar enhancement effect was also found in Quasi-isotropic (QI) specimens with 2 extra cut central 0° plies inserted into the layup. The TTC enhancement factor was implemented in a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) framework using cohesive interface elements, showing that the determined ηG can be successfully used to model the effect of TTC on delamination.
- B. Delamination
- B. Fracture toughness
- Bi-axial testing
- C. Finite element analysis (FEA)