Modelling the nonlinear behaviour and fracture process of AS4/PEKK thermoplastic composite under shear loading

Wei Tan, Brian Falzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
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The accurate determination of non-linear shear behaviour and fracture toughness of continuous carbon-fibre/polymer composites remains a considerable challenge. These measurements are often necessary to generate material parameters for advanced computational damage models. In particular, there is a dearth of detailed shear fracture toughness characterisation for thermoplastic composites which are increasingly generating renewed interest within the aerospace and automotive sectors. In this work, carbon fibre (AS4)/ thermoplastic Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) composite V-notched cross-ply specimens were manufactured to investigate their non-linear response under pure shear loading. Both monotonic and cyclic loading were applied to study the shear modulus degradation and progressive failure. For the first time in the reported literature, we use the essential work of fracture approach to measure the shear fracture toughness of continuous fibre reinforced composite laminates. Excellent geometric similarity in the load-displacement curves was observed for ligament-scaled specimens. The laminate fracture toughness was determined by linear regression, of the specific work of fracture values, to zero ligament thickness, and verified with computational models. The matrix intralaminar fracture toughness (ply level fracture toughness), associated with shear loading was determined by the area method. This paper also details the numerical implementation of a new three-dimensional phenomenological model for carbon fibre thermoplastic composites using the measured values, which is able to accurately represent the full non-linear mechanical response and fracture process. The constitutive model includes a new non-linear shear profile, shear modulus degradation and load reversal. It is combined with a smeared crack model for representing ply-level damage initiation and propagation. The model is shown to accurately predict the constitutive response in terms of permanent plastic strain, degraded modulus as well as load reversal. Predictions are also shown to compare favourably with the evolution of damage leading to final fracture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-77
Number of pages18
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Early online date11 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2016

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