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Intersonic delamination in curved thick composite laminates under quasi-static loading

2015-01-01
Gozluklu, Burak
Uyar, Imren
Çöker, Demirkan
Dynamic delamination in curved composite laminates is investigated experimentally and numerically. The laminate is 12-ply graphite/epoxy woven fabric L-shaped laminate subject to quasi-static loading perpendicular to one arm. Delamination initiation and propagation are observed using high speed camera and load displacement data is recorded. The quasistatic shear loading initiates delamination at the curved region which propagates faster than the shear wave speed of the material, leading to intersonic delamination in the arms. In the numerical part, the experiments are simulated with finite element analysis and a bilinear cohesive zone model. Cohesive interface elements are used between all plies with the interface properties obtained from tests. The simulations predict a single delamination initiating at the corner under pure mode-I stress field propagating to the arms under pure mode-II stress field. The crack tip speeds transition from sub-Rayleigh to intersonic in conjunction with mode change. In addition to intersonic mode-II delamination, shear Mach waves emanating from the crack tips in the arms are observed. The simulations and experiments are found to be in good agreement at the macro-scale, in terms of load-displacement behavior and failure load, and at the meso-scale, in terms of delamination initiation location and crack propagation speeds. Finally, a mode dependent crack tip definition is proposed and observation of vibrations during delamination is presented. This paper presents the first conclusive evidence of intersonic delamination in composite laminates triggered under quasi-static loading. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.