Identification of plasticity-controlled creep and fatigue failure mechanisms in transversely loaded unidirectional thermoplastic composites

Ozan Erartsin, Martin van Drongelen, Leon E. Govaert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


In continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics, the macroscopic failure mode in transverse long-term failure is dominated by a brittle crack-growth mechanism. Neat thermoplastic matrices, on the other hand, generally display also a plasticity-controlled mechanism in long-term loading at elevated stress levels and/or temperature. This failure mechanism requires a different approach to lifetime prediction than crack growth; hence, it is important to identify it in the long-term performance of composites.
In this study, we demonstrate the presence of the plasticity-controlled failure mechanism in long-term failure of transversely loaded unidirectional (UD) thermoplastic composites made of glass/iPP, carbon/PEEK and carbon/PEKK. The main method used is to compare the lifetime in cyclic loading to that in static loading at the same level of maximum stress, where an increase in lifetime is characteristic for plasticity controlled failure, and, vice versa, a decrease is indicative for fatigue crack growth. In addition, the applicability of a lifetime prediction method common to plasticity-controlled failure of neat thermoplastics is evaluated for the composites investigated.
The results of this study indicate that the plasticity-controlled failure was present in composites, although the extent to which the effects are present varied depending on the materials investigated. Glass/iPP showed the most explicit evidence of the plasticity-controlled failure over the entire load range experimentally covered. Its long-term failure was delayed with a decrease in the stress ratio and lifetime was predicted well using the principles of plasticity-controlled failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1947-1965
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of composite materials
Issue number14
Early online date13 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Creep
  • Crack growth
  • Fatigue
  • Long-term
  • Plasticity
  • Thermoplastic composite
  • Transverse
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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