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EPSRC Reference: GR/L19812/01
Title: A FUNDAMENTAL STUDY OF THE COMPRESSIVE FAILURE OF POLYMER COMPOSITES
Principal Investigator: Fleck, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Clyne, Professor TW Sutcliffe, Professor M Kelly, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 1996 Ends: 31 March 2000 Value (£): 212,079
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim is to determine the factors controlling compressive strength of carbon fibre polymer matrix composites. Previous work shows that the compressive strength is sensitive to fibre misalignment and to the shear properties of the matrix. Now we seek the quantitative effect upon the compressive strength of the fibre properties (fibre strength, fibre stiffness, fibre non-linearity and fibre diameter) and the presence of defects (fibre misalignment, void content, uniformity of fibre distribution and fibre-matrix debond strength). The significance of these parameters will be determined by testing a range of composites manufactured in-house and provided by the collaborators DRA, Cooksons and Ciba-Geigy. The relation between process route, distribution of fibre waviness and distribution of compressive strength will be measured and analysed, making use of the Fleck-Shu microbuckling finite element code. Initiation of microbuckling will be examined using Moire interferometry on a model material, and compared with numerical prediction of microbuckle formation. The stress required for tunnelling of a microbuckle in a multi-directional laminate will be measured and predicted by a rigorous elastic calculation. Finally, a unified theory for compressive failure of unidirectional and multi-directional laminates will be developed.
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk