Definition and measurement of the shear-lag parameter, β, as an index of the stress transfer efficiency in polymer composites

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The shear-lag parameter, β, employed in various problems of shear-lag analysis of composites is an unknown parameter which, in certain cases, is impossible to define. In this paper, a new methodology is proposed for the definition and subsequent experimental measurement of β for various single-fibre model composites. It is argued that, if β is defined as a fitting parameter for the solution of the shear-lag differential equation, then it can effectively serve as a stress-transfer efficiency index. The dependence of β upon the conditions prevailing at the fibre–matrix interface will be demonstrated by measuring β as a function of the fibre sizing in a carbon–epoxy composite system.

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