JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 47

Fig. 1: Composite failure in the longitudinal lug of a vertical stabiliser on an
Airbus A300 AA587 (Courtesy of NTSB/NASA) [2]

Failure of composites
The anisotropic nature of fibre-reinforced composites leads to a
complicated response to loading and consequently to multiple
and interacting failure mechanisms. These failure mechanisms
limit the capabilities of current numerical tools and are the focus
of significant efforts in the composites numerical analysis community. Unlike isotropic materials used for high-performance
applications such as metallic alloys, failure in fibre-reinforced
composites is usually a combination of different failure mechanisms and in general very unstable, with a significant amount of
secondary failure. Unfortunately, until it has been scrutinized,
this cannot be easily distinguished from the primary fracture
(Figure 1). In general, in fibre-reinforced composite laminates,
failure can occur in the fibres through the thickness (fibre
breakage - translaminar failure), in the matrix or fibre/matrix
interface (ply splitting -intralaminar failure) and between plies
(delamination - interlaminar failure) (Figure 2).

Fig. 4: X-ray radiography of a quasi-isotropic composite specimen failed in
compression (up); ultrasonic scan of an impacted plain composite panel
Fig. 2: Failure modes in a composite laminate

These failure modes act in synergy and are influenced by the
local stress field, type of loading, laminate configuration as
well as the respective properties of the constituents and their
interface, to name a few. The predominance and the interaction
of these different failure modes during propagation (progressive/stable growth), as well as the event that will trigger the
catastrophic failure (unstable growth), will not only govern
the overall performance of the composite structure but also
dictate the morphology of the fractured surfaces. For example
in compression failure, where a strong interaction between the
three aforementioned failure modes takes place, the fractured
surfaces keep carrying load even after failure has occurred. As a
consequence, post-failure damage is induced, which is likely to
obscure the initial fracture morphology and make the interpretation arduous. Furthermore, such artefacts can also be caused

Fig. 3: Assembly diagram of a failed component
(Courtesy of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD))

No98 July - August 2015 /

jec composites magazine 47



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015

Cover
Edito
Point of view : business development
Contents
COMPANY & BUSINESS
In brief
Cluster
SME
Agenda of Events
APPLICATIONS
Sports & leisure
Safety
Sports & leisure
MARKET
Resins
FEATURE AUTOMOTIVE
Materials
Binder
Additive
CFRP
Epoxy
Hybrid polymer
QSP
CRTP
Rear axles
Tanks
Engines
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Fractography
Recycling
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
Ancillary product
Vision system
Nano
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Point of view : business development
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Cluster
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - SME
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 12
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Sports & leisure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Safety
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Sports & leisure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Ad1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Ad2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Resins
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Binder
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Additive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - CFRP
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Epoxy
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Hybrid polymer
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - QSP
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - CRTP
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Rear axles
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Tanks
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Engines
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Fractography
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Ancillary product
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Vision system
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Nano
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #98 - July/August 2015 - 60
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