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Dynamic delamination in curved composite laminates under quasi-static loading

Uyar, I.
Gozluklu, B.
Çöker, Demirkan
In the wind energy industry, new advances in composite manufacturing technology and high demand for lightweight structures are fostering the use of composite laminates in a wide variety of shapes as primary load carrying elements. However, once a moderately thick laminate takes highly curved shape, such as an L-shape, Interlaminar Normal Stresses (ILNS) are induced together with typical Interlaminar Shear Stresses (ILSS) on the interfaces between the laminas. The development of ILNS promotes mode-I type of delamination propagation in the curved part of the L-shaped structure, which is a problem that has recently raised to the forefront in in-service new composite wind turbines. Delamination propagation in L-shaped laminates can be highly dynamic even though the loading is quasi-static. An experimental study to investigate dynamic delamination under quasi-static loading is carried out using a million fps high speed camera. Simulations of the experiments are conducted with a bilinear cohesive zone model implemented in user subroutine of the commercial FEA code ABAQUS/explicit. The experiments were conducted on a 12-layered woven L-shaped CFRP laminates subjected to shear loading perpendicular to the arm of the specimen with a free-sliding fixture to match the boundary conditions used in the FEA. A single delamination is found to initiate at the 5th interface during a single drop in the load. The delamination is then observed to propagate to the arms at intersonic speed of 2200m/s. The results obtained using cohesive zone models in the numerical simulations were found to be in good agreement with experimental results in terms of load displacement behavior and delamination history.