Damage progression in unidirectional glass fibre reinforced composites exposed to tension fatigue is investigated, and a quantitative explanation is given for the observed stiffness loss. The stiffness degradation during fatigue is directly related to fibre breaks in the load-carrying axial fibre bundles. The underlying mechanisms are examined using digital microscopy, and it is postulated that fatigue damage initiates due to stress concentrations between the backing (transverse) layer and the unidirectional layer, followed by a cyclic fretting and axial fibre debonding. This fretting mechanism needs further attention and understanding in order to improve the fatigue life-time of glass fibre reinforced composites.
Eccm15 - 15th European Conference on Composite Materials, 2012