Fatigue damage mechanisms and residual properties of graphite/epoxy laminates

I. M. Daniel*, A. Charewicz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Damage mechanisms and accumulation, and associated stiffness and residual strength reductions were studied in cross-ply graphite/epoxy laminates under cyclic tensile loading. Stress-life data were fitted by a two-parameter wearout model and by a second-degree polynomial on a log-log scale. The fatigue sensitivity is highest for the unidirectional laminates and it decreases for the crossply laminates with increasing number of contiguous 90° plies. Five different damage mechanisms were observed: transverse matrix cracking, dispersed longitudinal cracking, localized longitudinal cracking, delaminations along transverse cracks, and local delaminations at the intersection of longitudinal and transverse cracks. Failure patterns vary with cyclic stress level and number of cycles to failure. Under monotonie loading, failure is brittle-like and concentrated. At high stress amplitudes and short fatigue lives failure results from few localized flaws, whereas at lower stress amplitudes and longer fatigue lives failure results from more dispersed flaws. The residual modulus shows a sharp reduction initially, followed by a more gradual decrease up to failure. The residual strength showed a sharp reduction initially, followed by a plateau or even some increase in the middle part of the fatigue life, and a rapid decrease in the last part of the fatigue life. A tentative cumulative damage model is proposed based on residual strength and the concept of equal damage curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-808
Number of pages16
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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