, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 269-281
Date: 17 Feb 2006

Mixed-Mode Dynamic Crack Growth in Functionally Graded Glass-Filled Epoxy

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Abstract

Compositionally graded glass-filled epoxy sheets with edge cracks initially along the gradient are studied under dynamic loading conditions. Specimens with monotonically varying volume fraction of reinforcement are subjected to mixed-mode loading by eccentric impact relative to the crack plane. The optical method of Coherent Gradient Sensing and high-speed photography are used to map transient crack tip deformations before and after crack initiation. Two configurations, one with a crack on the stiffer side of a graded sheet and the second with a crack on the compliant side, are examined experimentally. To elucidate the differences in fracture behavior due to functional grading, a homogeneous sample is also tested. The differences in both pre- and post-crack initiation behaviors are observed interms of crack initiation time, crack path, crack speed and stress intensity factor histories. When a crack is situated on the compliant side of the sample, it kinks significantly less compared to when it is on the stiffer side. Crack tip mode mixity histories show small but positive values during crack growth from the stiffer side of the sample towards the compliant side whereas a small but negative mode mixity prevails for the opposite configuration.