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Title: Fatigue damage development in 3D woven glass and glass/carbon composites
Author: Poole, Matthew C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 5120
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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A number of studies have been conducted on 3D non-crimp orthogonal woven composites, but their industrial application is still in its infancy. 3D woven composites show increased through-thickness strength, reducing delamination damage, which is often a key failure mechanism for composites under various loading conditions, especially fatigue. This work investigates the fatigue performance and damage development in a 3D non-crimp orthogonal woven composite consisting of three weft tow layers, two warp tow layers, and a through-thickness z-binder that interlaces along the warp-direction. While the properties of carbon fibres are generally superior to glass fibres, they are more expensive. Therefore, it is of interest to see if the fatigue performance of a glass fibre 3D orthogonal weave can be improved via selective hybridisation using a small amount of carbon fibres. Initial work began on a commercial all-glass 3D orthogonal weave called 3D-78, which was produced by 3TEX. It was found that quasi-static tensile mechanical properties were the same for both warp and weft loading directions, but when loaded in tension-tension fatigue, the warp direction had longer fatigue lifetimes than the weft-direction. The crack density was lower in warp-direction specimens as a result of greater micro-delamination growth blunting stress concentrations around the tips of matrix cracks. The micro-delamination damage in warp-direction fatigue specimens showed a shield-like shape (not previously observed), i.e. wider along one side and narrowing to a point on the other side; where delamination was restricted (at the pointed end), fibre fractures occurred in the adjacent warp tow. The pointed portion of the micro-delamination corresponded to proximity to a z-binder crown. Other damage that was common to both loading directions (warp and weft) included: transverse cracks in transverse tow and resin-rich regions, z-binder debonding, and longitudinal tow splitting cracks. No obvious failure sites were noted for weft-direction fatigue loading. The second material used, 3DMG, was manufactured by the University of Manchester. This material was produced with two different z-binder tensions. The initial z-binder tension (3DMG-T1) resulted in a higher tensile modulus and strength-to-failure, and lower strain-to-failure, for the warp-direction, while the tensile fatigue properties of both directions were similar. Increasing the z-binder tension (3DMG-T2) reduced the tensile modulus and increased the strain-to-failure of the warp-direction, with these properties now similar in both loading directions; the tensile strength for both loading directions remained similar. However, the fatigue performance of the warp-direction was observed to increase with increased z-binder tension, while the weft-direction remained the same. The damage that developed in both materials was similar to the damage in 3D-78, and remained practically the same regardless of z-binder tension, though the energy dissipated per cycle for warp-direction specimens was higher in 3DMG-T1, which corresponds well with the lower number of cycles to failure. The final material tested was a University of Manchester hybrid 3D non-crimp orthogonal woven composite, termed 3DMHyb; here the glass fibre z-binder was replaced with carbon fibre; the z-binder tension used here was the same as 3DMG-T2. Generally, the quasi-static properties of this hybrid material were similar in both loading directions, with the exception of the tensile modulus which was approximately 10% higher, indicating that the carbon fibre z-binder may influence low strain properties. Additionally, the properties of 3DMHyb remained similar to 3DMG-T2. For fatigue performance, However, the fatigue lifetime to failure appeared to increase by a factor of just over 2 at lower peak stress/initial peak strains for the hybrid warp-direction specimens. Again, the energy dissipation per cycle was lower for specimens that had larger number of cycles to failure, in this case the hybrid specimens. Damage development also remained similar between the 3DMG-T2 and 3DMhyb specimens, indicating that the extension of fatigue life noted in 3DMHyb may be the result of the carbon fibre z-binder supressing the development of damage mechanisms leading to ultimate failure of the specimens.
Supervisor: Ogin, Stephen Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ; Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available