Scott, A.E., Sinclair, I. and Spearing, S.M. et al.
Damage accumulation in a carbon/epoxy composite: comparison between a multiscale model and computed tomography experimental results.
Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 43, (9), . (doi:10.1016/j.compositesa.2012.03.011).
High-resolution computed tomography has been carried out for carbon/epoxy laminates loaded in situ to failure. The experimental data allows major damage mechanisms to be quantified in 3D, in an unambiguous and mechanically representative way, where previous experimental analysis is limited.
A multi-scale model that predicts damage accumulation in tensile loaded composites is compared to the experimental analysis, to validate the underpinning assumptions within the model and overall performance. The model considers the random nature of fibre-strengths, stress transfer resulting from fibre breaks, fibre/matrix debonding and viscosity of the matrix. Assumptions within the model are made to reduce computational times whilst considering the microscopic behaviour of the whole structure.
Both model and experimental results indicate failure of the composite progresses via single fibre breaks, which, at higher loads, evolve into clusters of broken fibres. The model resulted in reasonable predictions of the preceding damage accumulation and final failure load of the structure.
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