Fracture Energy for Short Brittle Fiber/Brittle Matrix Composites With Three-Dimensional Fiber Orientation

[+] Author and Article Information
R. C. Wetherhold

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 112(4), 502-506 (Oct 01, 1990) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2906195 History: Received January 23, 1989; Online April 24, 2008


Adding brittle fibers to a brittle matrix can create a composite that is substantially tougher than the monolithic matrix by providing mechanisms for energy dissipation during crack propagation. A model based on probabilistic principles has been developed to calculate the increased energy absorption during fracture for a brittle matrix reinforced with very short, poorly bonded fibers. This model, previously developed for planar fiber orientations, is extended to consider the three-dimensional fiber orientations that may occur during composite fabrication. The fiber pull-out energy is assumed to dominate other fracture energy terms, and simple parametric studies are performed to demonstrate the effect of fiber orientation, fiber length, fiber diameter, and fiber-matrix interfacial shear stress. In particular, the fiber orientation effects may be grouped into an effective “orientation parameter.” The model predictions compare satisfactorily with the limited data available, and offer a conceptual framework for considering the effect of changing the physical variables on the fracture energy of the composite.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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