Mechanical Behavior and Fatigue in Polymeric Composites at Low Temperatures
Advanced fiber reinforced polymeric composite materials are often suggested as structural materials at low temperature. In this study, graphite epoxy and Kevlar-49/epoxy systems were investigated. Fatigue behavior was emphasized after establishing the standard monotonic mechanical properties, including fracture resistance parameters at 77, 190, and 296 K. Tension-tension fatigue crack propagation testing was carried out at nominal constant stress intensity amplitudes using precracked compact tensile specimens. The crack tip damage zone was measured and tracked by an electro-potential device, opening displacement gage, microscopic observation, and acoustic emission activity recording. Fractographic and metallographic studies were performed with emphasis on fracture morphology and modes, failure processes, and description of sequential events. On the basis of these experimental results, the problem of fatigue resistance, including low temperature effects, is analyzed and discussed. The fundamental concepts of fatigue in composites are assessed, particularly in terms of fracture mechanics methods.
KeywordsStress Intensity Factor Acoustic Emission Fracture Mode Crack Opening Displacement Crack Open Displacement
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