International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 27–40 | Cite as

Compressive splitting failure of composites using modified shear lag theory



The shear lag model has been used in conjunction with the 3D elasticity equations to determine the stress state in a fiber/matrix system containing an interface crack. The use of a shear lag model to capture the stress state at the crack tip and the modelling of the region away from the crack tip by the elasticity equations leads to a simple analytical expression which can be used to determine the compliance changes for both unsteady crack growth as well as steady state crack propagation under compressive loading. Certain modifications to the assumptions used in the classical shear lag model have been made to increase the accuracy of the predictions for the rate of change of compliance with respect to crack length, dc/dl. The present approach leads to closed form expressions for the compressive strength of unidirectional fiber reinforced composites.

Compression splitting strain energy release rate polymer matrix composites shear lag 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cox, H.L. (1952). The elasticity and strength of paper on other fibrous materials. British Journal Applied Physics 3, 72.Google Scholar
  2. Drapier, S., Grandidier, J.-C. and Potier-Ferry, M. (2001). A structural approach of plastic microbuckling in long fibre composites: Comparison with theoretical and experimental results. International Journal of Solids and Structures 38, 3877–3904.Google Scholar
  3. Fleck, N.A. (1997). ‘Compressive failure of fiber composites’. In: Advances in applied mechanics, Vol. 33. Academic Press, New York, pp. 43–117.Google Scholar
  4. Hashin, Z. and Rosen, B.W. (1964). The elastic moduli of fiber reinforced materials. Journal of AppliedMechanics, Volume No. 31, 275–306.Google Scholar
  5. Kyriakides, S., Arseculareatne, R., Perry, E.J. and Liechti, K.M. (1995). On the compressive failure of fiber reinforced composites. In: Proceedings of the Sixtieth Birthday Celebration of Prof. W.G. Knauss. International Journal of Solids and Structures 32, 689–738.Google Scholar
  6. Lee, S.H. (1998). Compressive behavior of fiber reinforced unidirectional composites, Ph.D. Thesis. Aeropsace Engineering Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  7. Lee, S.H. and Waas, A.M. (1999). Compressive response of fiber reinforced unidirectional composites. International Journal of Fracture 100, 275–306.Google Scholar
  8. Oguni, K. and Ravichandran, G. (2000). An energy-based model of longitudinal splitting in unidirectional fiberreinforced composites. Journal of Applied Mechanics 67, 437–443.Google Scholar
  9. Waas, A.M. and Schultheisz, C.R. (1996). Compressive failure of composites parts I and II. Progress in Aerospace Sciences 32, 1–78.Google Scholar
  10. Wisnom, M.R. and Atkinson, J.W. (1997). Constrained buckling tests show increasing compressive strain to failure with increasing strain gradient. Composites-Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 28, 959–964.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aerospace Engineering DepartmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborU.S.A

Personalised recommendations