Strain-rate-dependent failure criteria for composites

I. M. Daniel*, B. T. Werner, J. S. Fenner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to characterize the quasi-static and dynamic behavior of composite materials and develop/expand failure theories to describe static and dynamic failure under multi-axial states of stress. A unidirectional carbon/epoxy material was investigated. Multi-axial experiments were conducted at three strain rates, quasi-static, intermediate and high, 10-4, 1 and 180-400s-1, respectively, using off-axis specimens to produce stress states combining transverse normal and in-plane shear stresses. A Hopkinson bar apparatus and off-axis specimens loaded in this system were used for multi-axial characterization of the material at high strain rates. Stress-strain curves were obtained at the three strain rates mentioned. The measured strengths were evaluated based on classical failure criteria, (maximum stress, maximum strain, Tsai-Hill, Tsai-Wu, and failure mode based and partially interactive criteria (Hashin-Rotem, Sun, and Daniel). The latter (NU theory) is primarily applicable to interfiber/interlaminar failure for stress states including transverse normal and in-plane shear stresses. The NU theory was expressed in terms of three subcriteria and presented as a single normalized (master) failure envelope including strain rate effects. The NU theory was shown to be in excellent agreement with experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-364
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2011


  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Mechanical properties
  • B. Strain rate effects
  • C. Failure criterion
  • D. Dynamic testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Engineering(all)

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