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An experimental and numerical study on fatigue damage development in laminates containing embedded wrinkle defects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Fatigue
Early online date16 Oct 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Oct 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2018


Out-of-plane fibre waviness or ‘wrinkle’ defects significantly reduce the strength of laminated composites under quasi-static tension loads. Under tension-tension cyclic loading, the peak load amplitude remains lower than the wrinkled laminate quasi-static strength. Small delaminations can however still initiate early during the load history and grow steadily with increasing numbers of cycles until becoming critical, leading to ultimate structural failure. This paper focusses on the application of a novel 3D finite element modelling framework to predict fatigue delamination initiation and growth from wrinkle defects. An experimental programme was conducted alongside the modelling, for validation purposes. Carbon fibre/epoxy laminates with a quasi-isotropic layup containing artificially induced wrinkles were tested at various load severities (percentage of quasi-static failure load), until failure (defined percentage loss of the initial undamaged stiffness). Failure progression was closely monitored throughout the test. A detailed comparison between the novel finite element analyses and experiments was undertaken, and it was shown that the delamination locations, extent and cycles to failure could be very accurately predicted.

    Structured keywords

  • Composites UTC

    Research areas

  • Composites, Defects, Fatigue crack growth, Finite elements

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 2.12 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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