Experimental Determination of Fracture Toughness of Woven/Chopped Glass Fiber Hybrid Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite Laminates

Document Type : Article


1 Faculty of Technology, Gazi University, 06500, Ankara, Turkey.

2 Faculty of Technology, Gazi University, 06500, Ankara, Turkey


Polymer composites have a wide share among engineering materials. It is important that the material properties are known before being used in industrial applications. Damage behavior needs to be determined in order to safely forming of laminated composites. Propagation characteristics of existing cracks for determining damage are among the current research topics of the researchers. In this study, the fracture toughness of the composite structure was investigated by performing compact tensile and compact compression tests for hybrid fiber reinforced polypropylene composite laminates which have three types of composition having various thicknesses and fiber contents, woven and/or chopped glass fiber reinforcement. The critical energy release rates of fiber and matrix in both tensile and compressive fracture cases were determined in pre-cracked specimens under plane-strain loading conditions. The damage mechanisms of the composite materials used in the present study were described as fiber breakage/buckling of longitudinal and matrix crack/crushing of transverse. As a result of the longitudinal tension, the damage progressed gradually as translaminar fiber breaking in materials containing continuous fibers. In the transverse tension process, fiber-matrix separation caused intralaminar deformation in the materials. The highest fracture critical energy release rate was found in the material with the maximal fiber layer.


  1. References

    1. Sharma, N., Mahapatra, T.R. and Panda, S.K. "Vibro-acoustic analysis of laminated composite plate structure using structure-dependent radiation modes: An experimental validation", Scientia Iranica B, 25(5), 2706-2721, (2018).
    2. Abedi, M., Torshizi, S.E.M. and Sarfaraz, R. “Experimental characterization of fracture of glass fiber reinforced composites laminates subjected to freeze‐thaw cycles”, Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures, 43, 242-249, (2020).
    3. Vishwas, M., Joladarashi, S. and Kulkarni, S.M. “Comparative study of damage behavior of synthetic and natural fiber-reinforced brittle composite and natural fiber-reinforced flexible composite subjected to low-velocity impact”, Scientia Iranica B, 27(1), 341-349, (2020).
    4. Tanzi, M.C., Fare, S. and Candiani, G. “Chapter 1 - Organization, Structure, and Properties of Materials”, Foundations of Biomaterials Engineering, 1st ed., 3-103, (2019).
    5. Davies, G. “Materials for Automobile Bodies”, Elsevier, Oxford, 94-143, (2012).
    6. Prasad, S.M.S., Venkatesha, C.S. and Jayaraju, T. “Experimental methods of determining fracture toughness of fiber reinforced polymer composites under various loading conditions”, Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 10(13), 1263-1275, (2011).
    7. Mohammed, Y., Hassan, M.K. and Hashem, A.M. “Finite element computational approach of fracture toughness in composite compact-tension specimen”, International Journal of Mechanical & Mechatronics Engineering, 12(4), 57-61, (2012).
    8. Lisle, T., Bouvet, C., Hongkarnjanakul, B. et al. “Measure of fracture toughness of compressive fiber failure in composite structures using infrared thermography”, Composites Science and Technology, 112, 22-33, (2015).
    9. Sato, N., Hojo, M. and Nishikawa, M. “Intralaminar fatigue crack growth properties of conventional and interlayer toughened CFRP laminate under mode I loading”, Composites Part A: Appl Sci Manuf., 68, 202-211, (2015).
    10. Morais, A.B., Rebelo, C.C., Castro, P.M.S.T. et al. “Interlaminar fracture studies in Portugal: past, present and future”, Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures, 27, 767-773, (2004).
    11. Laffan, M.J., Pinho, S.T., Robinson, P. et al. “Translaminar fracture toughness testing of composites: A review”, Polymer Testing, 31, 481-489, (2012).
    12. Xu, X., Wisnom, M.R. and Hallett, S.R. “Deducing the R-curve for trans-laminar fracture from a virtual Over-height Compact Tension (OCT) test”, Composites Part A: Appl Sci Manuf., 118, 162-170, (2019).
    13. Marin, L., Gonzalez, E.V., Maimi, P. et al. “Hygrothermal effects on the translaminar fracture toughness of crossply carbon/epoxy laminates: Failure mechanisms”, Composites Science and Technology, 122, 130-139, (2016).
    14. Ma, J., Mo, M.S., Du, X.S. et al. “Effect of inorganic nanoparticles on mechanical property, fracture toughness and toughening mechanism of two epoxy systems”, Polymer, 49, 3510-3523, (2008).
    15. Trappe, V., Günzel, S. and Jaunich, M. “Correlation between crack propagation rate and cure process of epoxy resins”, Polymer Testing, 31, 654-659, (2012).
    16. Pinho, S.T., Robinson, P. and Iannucci, L. “Fracture toughness of the tensile and compressive fibre failure modes in laminated composites”, Composites Science and Technology, 66, 2069-2079, (2006).
    17. Katafiasz, T.J., Iannucci, L. and Greenhalgh, E.S. “Development of a novel compact tension specimen to mitigate premature compression and buckling failure modes within fibre hybrid epoxy composites”, Composite Structures, 207, 93-107, (2019).
    18. Gigliotti, L. and Pinho, S.T. “Translaminar fracture toughness of NCF composites with multiaxial blankets”, Materials & Design, 94, 410-416, (2016).
    19. Pimenta, S. and Pinho, S. “An analytical model for the translaminar fracture toughness of fibre composites with stochastic quasi-fractal fracture surfaces”, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 66, 78-102, (2014).
    20. Furtado, C., Arteiro, A., Linde, P. et al. “Is there a ply thickness effect on the mode I intralaminar fracture toughness of composite laminates”, Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, 107, 102473, (2020).
    21. Duigou, A.L., Davies, P. and Baley, C. “Macroscopic analysis of interfacial properties of flax/PLLA biocomposites”, Composites Science and Technology, 70(11), 1612-1620, (2010).
    22. Kinloch, A.J., Taylor, A.C., Techapaitoon, M. et al. “From matrix nano- and micro-phase tougheners to composite macro-properties”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 374, 20150275, (2016).
    23. Blanco, N., Trias, D., Pinho, S.T. et al. “Intralaminar fracture toughness characterisation of woven composite laminates, part II: experimental characterization”, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 131, 361-370, (2014).
    24. Blanco, N., Trias, D., Pinho, S.T. et al. “Intralaminar fracture toughness characterisation of woven composite laminates. Part I: Design and analysis of a compact tension (CT) specimen”, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 131, 349-360, (2014).
    25. Chevalier, J., Morelle, X.P., Camanho, P.P. et al. “On a unique fracture micromechanism for highly cross-linked epoxy resins”, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 122, 502-519, (2019).
    26. Catalanotti, G., Camanho, P.P., Xavier, J. et al. “Measurement of resistance curves in the longitudinal failure of composites using digital image correlation”, Composites Science and Technology, 70, 1986-1993, (2010).
    27. Ahmad, M. Ansari, R. and Rouhi, H. “Studying buckling of composite rods made of hybrid carbon fiber/carbon nanotube-reinforced polyimide using multi-scale FEM”, Scientia Iranica B, 27(1), 252-261, (2020).
    28. ISO-13586, Plastics - Determination of fracture toughness (GIC and KIC) - Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) approach, Switzerland, (2018).
    29. ASTM-E399, Standard test method for linear-elastic plane-strain fracture toughness of metallic materials, United States of America, (2017).
    30. Li, X., Hallett, S.R., Wisnom, M.R. et al. “Experimental study of damage propagation in overheight compact tension tests”, Composites Part A: Appl Sci Manuf., 40(12), 1891-1899, (2009).
    31. Hallett, S.R., Green, B.G., Jiang, W.G. et al. “An experimental and numerical investigation into the damage mechanisms in notched composites”, Composites Part A: Appl Sci Manuf., 40(5), 613-624, (2009).
    32. O’Dwyer, D.J., O’Dowd, N.P. and McCarthy, C.T. “Numerical micromechanical investigation of interfacial strength parameters in a carbon fibre composite material”, Journal of Composite Materials, 48(6), 749-760, (2014).
    33. Kuppusamy, N. and Tomlinson, R.A. “Repeatable pre-cracking preparation for fracture testing of polymeric materials”, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 152, 81-87, (2016).
    34. Ozdemir A.O., Karatas C. and Yucesu H.S., “Effect of fiber configuration on mechanical properties of thermoplastic composite laminates”, Journal of Polytechnic, (2020).
    35. Harris, C.E. and Morris, D.H. “A comparison of the fracture behaviour of thick laminated composites utilizing compact tension, three-point bend, and center-cracked tension specimens”, Fracture Mechanics: Seventeenth Vol., ASTM-STP-905, 124-135, (1986).