Fatigue in Composite Materials,
ADVISORY GROUP FOR AEROSPACE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PARIS (FRANCE)
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Under many common circumstances, it would appear that composite materials are superior to metals in their fatigue resistance. However, the usual concept of fatigue or fatigue damage must be broadened for composites. A single fatigue crack which propagates through a component to cause failure rarely occurs in the singular manner identified with homogeneous materials. Instead, fatigue damage in composites may consist of various combinations of matrix cracking, debonding, delamination, void growth, and fiber breakage. As a result, fatigue cannot be defined in terms of a single failure mode, and indeed, a single criterion for fatigue failure is difficult to choose. The present discussion presents a general descriptive overview of fatigue of composite materials from the standpoint of basic characteristics and concepts, especially in the context of fatigue behavior of more familiar materials. While the exact nature of fatigue damage processes in composite materials is, as yet, undetermined, the principal objective of this document is to present the current understandings and practices which have the greatest possible generality. Readers are advised to seek more specific information for specific situations and to develop as much first hand data as possible for a given applied situation.
- Metallurgy and Metallography