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Materials Research

Print version ISSN 1516-1439


KUMAR, Masa Suresh; RAGHAVENDRA, Kesarabandi; VENKATASWAMY, Magalapalaya Anjanappa  and  RAMACHANDRA, Honnudike Venkateshwararao. Fractographic analysis of tensile failures of aerospace grade composites. Mat. Res. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.6, pp.990-997.  Epub Oct 23, 2012. ISSN 1516-1439.

This paper describes fractographic features observed in aerospace composites failed under tensile loads. Unidirectional Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (UD CFRP) and Unidirectional Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (UD GFRP) composite specimens were fabricated and tested in tension. The morphology of fractured surfaces was studied at various locations to identify failure mechanism and characteristic fractographic features. CFRP composites displayed transverse crack propagation and the fracture surface showed three distinct regions, viz., crack origin, propagation and final failure. Significant variations in the fractographic features were noticed in crack propagation and final failure regions. Crack propagation region exhibited brittle fracture with chevron lines emanating from the crack origin. The entire crack propagation region exhibited radial marks on the individual fibre broken ends. On the other hand, the final fracture region revealed longitudinal matrix splitting and radial marks in majority of locations, and chop marks at some locations. The change in fracture mode in the final fracture was attributed to superimposition of bending loads. GFRP composites exhibited broom like fracture with extensive longitudinal splitting with radial marks present on individual fibre broken ends. Transverse fracture was observed at a few locations. These fracture features were analyzed and correlated with the loading conditions.

Keywords : composite(s); fractography; failure modes.

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