In situ observations of microscale damage evolution in unidirectional natural fibre composites

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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Synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy (XTM) has been used to observe in situ damage evolution in unidirectional flax fibre yarn/polypropylene composites loaded in uniaxial tension at stress levels between 20% and 95% of the ultimate failure stress. XTM allows for 3D visualization of the internal damage state at each stress level. The overall aim of the study is to gain a better understanding of the damage mechanisms in natural fibre composites. This is necessary if they are to be optimized to fulfil their promising potential. Three dominating damage mechanisms have been identified: (i) interface splitting cracks typically seen at the interfaces of bundles of unseparated fibres, (ii) matrix shear cracks, and (iii) fibre failures typically seen at fibre defects. Based on the findings in the present study, well separated fibres with a low number of defects are recommended for composite reinforcements.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1639-1649
StatePublished - 2012
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 16


  • Flax fibres, Fracture, Microstructures, Synchrotron X-ray tomography
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