Applied Composite Materials (v.17, #6)

The objective of the present study is to characterize the effect of modified chain stitching on the delamination growth under mixed-mode I/II loading conditions. Delamination toughness under mode I is experimentally determined, for unstitched and stitched laminates, by using untabbed and tabbed double cantilever beam (TDCB) tests. The effect of the reinforcing tabs on mode I toughness is investigated. Stitching improves the energy release rate (ERR) up to 4 times in mode I. Mode II delamination toughness is evaluated in end-notched flexure (ENF) tests. Different geometries of stitched specimens are tested. Crack propagation occurs without any failure of stitching yarns. The final crack length attains the mid-span or it stops before and the specimen breaks in bending. The ERR is initially low and gradually increases with crack length to very high values. The mixed-mode delamination behaviour is investigated using a mixed-mode bending (MMB) test. For unstitched specimens, a simple mixed-mode criterion is identified. For stitched specimens, stitching yarns do not break during 25% of mode I ratio tests and the ERR increase is relatively small compared to unstitched values. For 70% and 50% of mode I ratios, failures of yarns are observed during crack propagation and tests are able to capture correctly the effect of the stitching: it clearly improves the ERR for these two mixed modes, as much as threefold.
Keywords: Delamination; Polymer matrix composites; Stitching; Mixed-mode fracture; Woven fabrics

Local Structure Fixation in the Composite Manufacturing Chain by Lina Girdauskaite; Sybille Krzywinski; Hartmut Rödel; Andrea Wildasin-Werner; Ralf Böhme; Irene Jansen (597-608).
Compared to metal materials, textile reinforced composites show interesting features, but also higher production costs because of low automation rate in the manufacturing chain at this time. Their applicability is also limited due to quality problems, which restrict the production of complex shaped dry textile preforms. New technologies, design concepts, and cost-effective manufacturing methods are needed in order to establish further fields of application. This paper deals with possible ways to improve the textile deformation process by locally applying a fixative to the structure parallel to the cut. This hinders unwanted deformation in the textile stock during the subsequent stacking and formation steps. It is found that suitable thermoplastic binders, applied in the appropriate manner do not restrict formation of the textile and have no negative influence on the mechanical properties of the composite.
Keywords: Textile composites; Mechanical properties; Deformation; Modelling

Tailoring Sandwich Face/Core Interfaces for Improved Damage Tolerance—Part I: Finite Element Analysis by Christian Lundsgaard-Larsen; Christian Berggreen; Leif A. Carlsson (609-619).
Various modifications of the face/core interface in foam core sandwich specimens are examined in a series of two papers. This paper constitutes part I and describes the finite element analysis of a sandwich test specimen, i.e. a DCB specimen loaded by uneven bending moments (DCB-UBM). Using this test almost any mode-mixity between pure mode I and mode II can be obtained. A cohesive zone model of the mixed mode fracture process involving large-scale bridging is developed. Results from the analysis are used in Part II, which describes methods and results of a series of experiments.
Keywords: Sandwich structures; Cohesive zone modeling; Fracture resistance; Crack kinking

Tailoring Sandwich Face/Core Interfaces for Improved Damage Tolerance—Part II: Experiments by Christian Lundsgaard-Larsen; Christian Berggreen; Leif A. Carlsson (621-637).
A face/core debond in a sandwich structure may propagate in the interface or kink into either the face or core. It is found that certain modifications of the face/core interface region influence the kinking behavior, which is studied experimentally in the present paper. A sandwich double cantilever beam specimen loaded by uneven bending moments (DCB-UBM) allows for accurate measurements of the J integral as the crack propagates under large scale fibre bridging. By altering the mode-mixity of the loading, the crack path changes and deflects from the interface into the adjacent face or core. The transition points where the crack kinks are identified and the influence of four various interface design modifications on the propagation path and fracture resistance are investigated.
Keywords: Sandwich structure; Fibre bridging; J integral; DCB-UBM; Crack kinking