Dynamic compressive behavior of thick composite materials

H. M. Hsiao*, I. M. Daniel, R. D. Cordes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


The effect of strain rate on the compressive behavior of thick carbon/epoxy composite materials was investigated. Falling weight impact and split Hopkinson pressure bar systems were developed for dynamic characterization of composite materials in compression at strain rates up to 2000 s-1. Strain rates below 10 s-1 were generated using a servohydraulic testing machine. Strain rates between 10 s-1 and 500 s-1 were generated using the drop tower apparatus. Strain rates above 500 s-1 were generated using the split Hopkinson pressure bar. Unidirectional carbon/epoxy laminates (IM6G/3501-6) loaded in the longitudinal and transverse directions, and [(08/908)2/̄O8]s cross-ply laminates were characterized. The 90-deg properties, which are governed by the matrix, show an increase in modulus nd strength over the static values but no significant change in ultimate strain. The 0-deg and cross-ply laminates show higher strength and ultimate strain values as the strain rate increases, wheras the modulus increases only slightly over the static value. The increase in strength and ultimate strain observed may be related to the shear behavior of the composite and the change in failure modes. In all cases, the dynamic stress-strain curves stiffen as the strain rate increases. The stiffening is lowest in the longitudinal direction and highest in the transverse direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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