Implications of free-edge effect at thin plain-woven carbon fiber reinforced plastic laminates with out-of-plane waviness under cyclic loading
Sprache des Titels:
The onset of damage caused by the free-edge effect in plain-woven carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) specimens with an out-of-plane waviness under tension-tension fatigue loading is investigated. Numerical calculations show that interlaminar and intralaminar stresses close to the out-of-plane waviness are higher than the equivalent stresses at the surrounding edge regions. Using submodels, the influence of the chosen out-of-plane waviness can be better assessed. The free-edge effect of the considered specimens, which originates from stress gradients between plies of different orientation, is altered by the change in the stress field caused by the out-of-plane waviness. Large interlaminar stresses between plies of the same orientation are obtained, which contrasts with existing literature. In experimental fatigue testing it is found that cracks at the free edge appeared at the predicted locations, and after reaching crack saturation, in regions close to the out-of-plane waviness, interlaminar and intralaminar stresses lead to additional cracks along the whole free edges. The experimental tests are supported by a three dimensional image correlation system (3D-DIC), a thermal-imager and a digital photographic camera, which allows detailed examination of selected areas. Visual observation during fatigue testing and post-mortem inspection show good agreement between experimental data and numerical calculations in relation to the location of the damage initiation. As a result, out-of-plane waviness at free edges must be considered as an additional significant fatigue damage initiation location in laminate analysis.