Interlaminar fracture toughness of 5HS Carbon/PEEK laminates. A comparison between DCB, ELS and mandrel peel tests

Francisco Sacchetti, Wouter J.B. Grouve, Laurent L. Warnet* (Corresponding Author), Irene Fernandez Villegas

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The present work focuses on the applicability of the mandrel peel test to quantify the interlaminar fracture toughness of 5 harness satin woven fabric Carbon/PEEK composites. For this purpose, the Mandrel Peel (MP) test was compared to the Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) and End-Loaded Split (ELS) test in terms of experimental procedure and results obtained. The interlaminar toughness of the 5 harness Carbon/PEEK was measured both parallel and perpendicular to the predominant fibre direction at the interface. While stable crack propagation was observed in the ELS test, unstable crack propagation (stick-slip) was observed during both the DCB and the mandrel peel tests. In the case of the mandrel peel test, however, the unstable propagation was immediately arrested by the mandrel, limiting the instability and providing numerous crack re-initiation values per unit of crack length. This effect is expected to increase the statistical relevance of a single test and thereby to increase the reliability of the measured values as compared to DCB tests. A fractographic analysis was performed to study the nature of the crack propagation for the different testing techniques. The mandrel peel test was found to be a potentially plausible alternative to the DCB test for woven fabric reinforced composites.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-23
    Number of pages11
    JournalPolymer testing
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


    • Fracture mechanics
    • Thermoplastic composites

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