Translaminar fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth characterization of carbon-epoxy plain weave laminates

Rafael Souza*, Nubia Nale Alves da Silveira, Sergio Nascimento Junior, Mariano A. Arbelo, Maurício V. Donadon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


An experimental investigation of mode-I translaminar fracture toughness and fatigue crack growth behavior of a carbon fiber-epoxy plain weave laminate manufactured by resin infusion under flexible tooling (RIFT) is presented in this article. Pre-cracked compact tension (CT) specimens were used to perform both quasi-static and fatigue tests. Different data reduction techniques for fracture toughness calculation were used and compared with each other. The ASTM E399 test method was modified to account for the material orthotropy and specimen geometry effects using a correction function based on a numerical evaluation of the strain energy release rate. The proposed modification shows good agreement against other experimental methods found in the literature and its application was validated for fatigue tests. Fatigue testing shows that failure in undesired modes is likely to occur prior to translaminar fracture, which was attributed to a higher tensile fatigue threshold than compression or shear fatigue threshold presented by the composite in analysis. Increasing the specimens’ initial notch length was a solution for avoiding these types of failure. The experimental results were compiled in the form of a Paris curve, and their particularities were discussed. A fractographic analysis was carried out to define damage patterns and its evolution process in both types of tests. POLYM. COMPOS., 40:3791–3804, 2019. © 2019 Society of Plastics Engineers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3791-3804
JournalPolymer composites
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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