Investigation into stress transfer characteristics in alumina-fibre/epoxy model composites through the use of fluorescence spectroscopy


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Abstract

In composite materials, fibre/fibre interaction phenomena due to fibre failure are crucial in determining the composite fracture behaviour. Indeed, the redistribution of stress from a failed fibre to its intact neighbours, and stress concentration induced in the neighbouring fibres, determine the extent to which a break in one fibre will cause more breaks in others. In this paper, we have used fluorescence spectroscopy to study the stress transfer and redistribution induced by fibre fracture in two-dimensional Nextel-610 fibres/epoxy-resin micro-composites. The stress along the fibres was mapped at different load levels, and specimens with different inter-fibre distance were used to study the fibre content effect. The interfacial shear stress distribution along broken and intact fibres was derived by means of a balance of shear-to-axial forces argument. The experimental stress concentration factors (SCF) were smaller than values predicted from our model based on the cell assembly approach. As expected the 2D configuration allows access to the upper bound of the SCF in real composites. For the several specimens tested, a region of matrix yielding was observed behind the fibre fracture and no-debonding at the interface was detected. The measured SCF values agree well with those reported in recent study for carbon-fibre/epoxy model composites.

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