Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Joe Mello

Abstract

Mode I interlaminar fracture of 3k 8-Harness-Satin Carbon cloth, with identical fill and weft yarns, pre-impregnated with Newport 307 resin was investigated through the DCB test (ASTM D5528). Crack propagations along both the fill and weft yarns were considered for both post-bonded (co-bonded) and co-cured laminates. A patent-pending delamination insertion method was compared to the standard Teflon film option to assess its applicability to mode I fracture testing. The Modified Beam Theory, Compliance Calibration method, and Modified Compliance Calibration method were used for comparative purposes for these investigations and to evaluate the validity of the proposed Equivalent Stiffness (EQS) method. Crack propagation, in all specimens, proceeded in a run-arrest manner for both delamination directions. Energy dissipation in the form of transverse yarn debonding, matrix deformation, and out of plane crack growth was witnessed for specimens with delaminations along weft yarns. A complete comparison between post-bonded and co-cured laminates was not achieved. The patent pending delamination insertion method was found to cause fewer instances of non-linear crack initiation behavior than the Teflon insert and, when non-linear behavior did occur, it was less prevalent. The EQS method was found to achieve fracture toughness values within 5% of the other three data reduction methods for 63% of the propagation values and achieved conservative values for over 33% of the propagations. Suggestions for future studies aimed at completing the comparisons above are provided in Chapter 5.