Compressive damage mechanism of GFRP composites under off-axis loading: Experimental and numerical investigations

H.W. Zhou, H.Y. Li, L.L. Gui, Gaoming Dai, R.D. Peng, H.W. Wang, Leon Mishnaevsky

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    Experimental and computational studies of the microscale mechanisms of damage formation and evolution in unidirectional glass fiber reinforced polymer composites (GFRP) under axial and off-axis compressive loading are carried out. A series of compressive testing of the composites with different angles between the loading vector and fiber direction were carried out under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in situ observation. The damage mechanisms as well as stress strain curves were obtained in the experiments. It was shown that the compressive strength of composites drastically reduces when the angle between the fiber direction and the loading vector goes from 0° to 45° (by 2.3–2.6 times), and then slightly increases (when the angle approaches 80–90°). At the low angles between the fiber and the loading vector, fiber buckling and kinking are the main mechanisms of fiber failure. With increasing the angle between the fiber and applied loading, failure of glass fibers is mainly controlled by shear cracking. For the computational analysis of the damage mechanisms, 3D multifiber unit cell models of GFRP composites and X-FEM approach to the fracture modeling were used. The computational results correspond well to the experimental observations.
    © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
    Pages (from-to)119-127
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Polymer–matrix composites (PMCs)
    • Strength
    • Finite element analysis (FEA)
    • Computational modeling
    • Electron microscopy


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