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Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311

Modeling of fatigue damage in a polymer matrix composite


Zuo Sun∗ , Isaac M. Daniel, J.J. Luo
Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA

Received 15 April 2003; received in revised form 20 June 2003

Abstract

In recent years, advanced polymer matrix composites (PMC) are increasingly used in high-speed transport airframe structures and aircraft
engine components due to their light weight, high strength, and high stiffness properties. One critical issue for structural designers and
material developers is the long term behavior of these PMC and their associated damage and failure mechanisms under fatigue loading. In
this study, fatigue damage of a polymer matrix composite proposed for high temperature applications was characterized both at room and
high temperatures. The objective of this research is to predict the damage development under specific load and temperature. A Monte Carlo
technique was applied to simulate the nondeterministic transverse cracking based on the stress-life curves, a simple damage accumulation
model and stress analysis model. The probability density function of transverse crack spacing was obtained and a theoretical model was
proposed to predict this damage development in terms of crack densities versus number of cycles. It is shown that both the simulation and the
theoretical model agree well with experimental results at various load levels and temperatures.
© 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Polymer matrix composites; Fatigue damage; Monte Carlo simulation; Experimental characterization

1. Introduction focused on fatigue damage and life prediction of composite


structures.
Advanced polymer matrix composites (PMC) are increas- Reifsnider and Stinchcomb [2] proposed the critical el-
ingly used in aerospace, electrical, and medical industry ement concept that is capable of describing and predicting
during the past 20 years since these materials have many the strength and life of composite laminates subjected to
advantages over traditional materials, such as light weight, general cyclic loading. The model provides a general frame-
high strength, and high stiffness properties. One critical work for determining fatigue response of composite mate-
issue for structural designers and material developers is rials from an understanding of microstructural damage and
the long term behavior of these PMC and their associated failure mechanisms of materials.
damage and failure mechanisms under fatigue loading. Fur- Herakovich et al. [14] chose finite element analysis to
thermore, it is desirable to develop some methodologies to study the transverse cracking problem in cross-ply lam-
predict the fatigue damage development under any specific inates in the three-dimensional domain. However, the
loading and environmental conditions. three-dimensional model is very cumbersome and inconve-
Fatigue is a process that causes failure or damage of a ma- nient to use.
terial subjected to cyclic loading. It is difficult to accurately Henaff-Gardin and Lafarie-Frenot [15] developed a two-
describe and model due to its complicated damage develop- dimensional shear lag model that takes into account residual
ment and failure mechanism. Since one typical failure mode thermal stresses to cross-ply laminates subjected to uniaxial
of composite structures is due to fatigue induced damage loading. The kinetics of transverse matrix cracking, up to
[1–7], lots of theoretical and experimental work [1–13] was the “saturation” stage, was predicted after a characteristic
damage variable was introduced.
Rotem and Nelson [8] studied fatigue behavior of
∗ Corresponding author. Present address: Department of Engineering
graphite-epoxy laminates at elevated temperatures. They
Science and Mechanics, 217 Norris Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
introduced shift factors for both the static strength and
24061, USA. the fatigue function to account for the temperature effect.
E-mail address: zuosun@vt.edu (Z. Sun). Fatigue lives at different temperatures were predicted and

0921-5093/$ – see front matter © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/S0921-5093(03)00556-2
Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311 303

these results may permit the life prediction of long-time, Furthermore, composite structures are usually made from
low temperature from data obtained in short time, high laminates consisting of a number of uniaxial reinforced pli-
temperature testing. However, all their work focused on life ers. It is not practical to generate extensive data for fatigue
prediction. They did not study damage accumulation, for damage and life of various composite laminates. Hence, it
example, transverse cracking. is desirable to develop an approach to predict fatigue dam-
Caron and Ehrlacher [16] described a micromechanical age and life of composite laminates in terms of static and
model of transverse cracking in cross-ply composite lam- fatigue properties of the constituent laminate. In this study,
inates under fatigue loading. They simulated progressive probability density function (PDF) of transverse crack spac-
damage in 90◦ layers of cross-ply laminates by introducing ing was obtained and a theoretical model was proposed to
a decreasing law of residual strength. However, experimen- predict this damage development in terms of crack densities
tal results from only one lay-up were compared to simula- versus number of cycles.
tion results. They did not study temperature effects on this
fatigue damage mode.
Dzenis [17,18] developed a novel general model of dam- 2. Experimental
age evolution and failure of laminates under cyclic loading
based on a stochastic mesomechanics approach. The model 2.1. Material
combines a lamination theory and a theory of stochastic
processes. Specifically, the randomness of the elastic and The material in this investigation was a polymer matrix
strength properties of the composite plies, the laminate mi- composite supplied in prepreg form. Laminated panels were
crostructural parameters, and the loading were taken into fabricated using an autoclave press. Unidirectional laminate
account. A theory of excursions of stochastic processes [908 ] was made to get stress-life curve of unidirectional
beyond bounds and a mesovolume concept were utilized lamina. Two cross-ply panels, [0/904 ]s and [0/902 ]s , were
to evaluate the ply-level damage functions. These results made to study fatigue damage in cross-ply laminates. All
offer better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms the panels were inspected by ultrasonic C-scan and found to
of fatigue damage development in advanced composites. have no discernible defects. The fiber volume ratio was 0.65,
Damage development in polymer matrix composite lam- which was determined by using image analysis of photomi-
inates is a very complicated process. The static transverse crographs of transverse (to the fibers) cross sections of the
cracking problem was studied before [19]. Specifically, composite. The [908 ] and cross-ply laminate panels were cut
Monte Carlo simulation and a theoretical model were de- with a diamond saw into 22.9 cm×2.54 cm (9.0 in.×1.0 in.)
veloped to predict crack multiplication with the increase coupons for fatigue testing. INSTRON wedge grips were
of quasi-static load under different temperatures. Although used in all tests. To prevent fiber breakage during grip-
the fatigue damage mechanisms are much more compli- ping, end tabs with size of 2.54 cm (1 in.) by 2.54 cm (1 in.)
cated, experiments show that the first stage of damage is were used. For fatigue test, especially high temperature fa-
still transverse matrix cracking. It is found that the forma- tigue test, the aluminum sheet was used as tabs, because
tion of transverse cracks cannot cause catastrophic failure glass-epoxy tabs were proven to have adhesive failure dur-
of the laminate, but their presence can influence the over- ing the fatigue test. Meanwhile, the choice of adhesive that
all mechanical behavior of the laminate. For example, the bonds the tabs to the specimen is also very critical for high
structure is degraded and the stiffness of the laminate is temperature fatigue test. Experiment shows that FM355 high
reduced. Moreover, the existence and multiplication of temperature adhesive films work well for high temperature
transverse cracks degrade the duration of composite lam- fatigue test up to 149 ◦ C (300 ◦ F).
inates by introducing other more severe damage modes All tests were performed on an INSTRON 1331 hydraulic
under fatigue loading, such as delamination and fiber test machine with an INSTRON 8500 controller. An envi-
breakage. ronmental chamber attached to the INSTRON was used for
In this work, fatigue transverse cracking problem at differ- high temperature tests.
ent temperatures was studied thoroughly. The objective was
to predict transverse cracking development for any loading 2.2. Stress-life curve of transverse lamina
and temperature history. In other words, loading and tem-
perature effects on this damage mode were investigated. Ex- Since the first fatigue damage stage in cross-ply lami-
periments show that crack density increases with number of nate consists of development and multiplication of transverse
cycles, but few works have been done on how to quantify this matrix cracks, the stress-life curve of 90◦ lamina is essen-
damage multiplication under some specific load and high tial to characterize the fatigue damage behavior of cross-ply
temperature. Since fatigue is affected by statistical scenario, laminates.
fatigue Monte Carlo technique was introduced to simulate Fatigue tests were conducted using a sinusoidal tension–
the fatigue transverse cracking procedure based on stress tension cyclic load with a stress ratio of R = 0.5 at a
analysis model, stress-life curve and damage accumulation frequency of 4 Hz. Both room (75 ◦ F, 24 ◦ C) and high
model. temperature (300 ◦ F, 149 ◦ C) fatigue tests were run at the
304 Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311

maximum stress between 0.9F2t (T) and 0.6F2t (T), where in 90◦ layers of [0/904 ]s laminates by the X-radiography
F2t (T) is transverse strength at temperature T. The task was under various stress levels and temperatures. X-ray radiog-
to determine stress versus number of cycles to failure (S–N raphy shows that all fatigue cracks are through the width of
curves). For each stress level, three to five specimens were the specimen. Thus, counting crack number from the edge
tested to failure and mean value was chosen as the life at this is not only an accurate method but also much simpler than
stress level. Fatigue tests were run at 0.6F2t (T) and they all other techniques, such as replica and X-ray to obtain crack
run out at 106 cycles. Thus, it corresponds to an endurance density. Since high temperature tests can not be interrupted,
limit. an in situ photography technique as shown in Fig. 3 was
The stress-life cures at two different temperatures are used. Basically, a long distance microscope set up that is
shown in Fig. 1. It is evident that at the same normalized outside of the chamber was used to take pictures from pol-
stress level, the life at high temperature is shorter than that ished edges during the tests without affecting the environ-
at room temperature. mental test conditions. Each test was run up to 5,00,000 or
106 cycles, and crack density at every predetermined num-
2.3. Damage in cross-ply laminates ber of cycles was recorded. During the test, no delamination
at interface was found. The crack densities versus number
Fatigue damage in two cross-ply laminates, [0/904 ]s and of cycles are shown from Figs. 4 to 9. Each point represents
[0/902 ]s , was studied at both room and high temperatures. an average of results from at least three specimens.
One edge of each specimen was polished down to 5 ␮m to fa-
cilitate damage inspection and crack counting under the mi-
croscope. All fatigue tests were also run using the same stress 3. Monte Carlo simulation of transverse cracking
ratio R = 0.5 in transverse layers as unidirectional test and
frequency 4 Hz. A minimum of three replicates was tested Static Monte Carlo simulation technique was introduced
under each test condition. Tension–tension fatigue tests were to predict the progressive transverse cracking under static
performed at two stress levels for each lay-up at different loading [19]. For fatigue loading, the transverse cracking
temperatures: σ2x max /F (T) = 1.1 and σ max /F (T) = 1.4
2t 2x 2t procedure after the first cycle is the same as static loading
for [0/904 ]s , σ2x /F2t (T) = 1.2 for [0/902 ]s , where σ2x
max max is at the same maximum stress. Thus, the first set of cracks
the maximum stress in transverse layer. after the first cycle can be determined by static simulation
Fatigue tests were interrupted after the first cycle to de- method that we have used before. Beyond the first cycle, ev-
termine initial crack density and some predetermined cy- ery uncracked location experiences fatigue damage. Mean-
cles to monitor crack development and multiplication. For while, whenever a new fatigue crack appears in one seg-
room temperature tests, the specimen was taken to an op- ment, it will change the stress state at this segment. It means
tical microscope to see the damage inside from the edge. that essentially fatigue transverse cracking is a cumulative
Cracks in 90◦ layers were counted over the gage length. It damage problem under variable stress amplitude, which is
was found that almost all cracks were through the thickness a very complicated process. In order to access the varying
of 90◦ layers. Fig. 2 shows the typical images of cracking damage history at every location of the 90◦ layers, Monte

1.1

Experimental data at 75 ºF
1.0
S-N curve at 75 ºF
Experimental data at 300 ºF
0.9 S-N curve at 300 ºF
Endurence Limit it
S/F 2t (T)

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Number of cycles, log N

Fig. 1. Stress-life curves of [908 ] laminate at 24 ◦ C (75 ◦ F) and 149 ◦ C (300 ◦ F).
Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311 305

Fig. 2. X-radiographs of [0/904 ]s IM7/977-3 carbon/epoxy laminate under various applied stress levels and temperatures.

Carlo simulation technique was introduced to address this j


where Ni is the lifetime of element j under stress Si , which
fatigue damage accumulation problem based on fatigue dam- is determined from S–N curve of 90◦ lamina. According to
age accumulation model and stress analysis model. We chose Miner’s rule, a new crack will be produced at this element
Miner’s rule [20] as the damage accumulation model, be- when
cause Miner’s rule is the simplest model widely used. Shear j
lag model [21] was chosen as the stress analysis model in DK = 1 (2)
order to keep consistence with our static analysis.
Generally, at a given loading stage K, the crack density λK−1
We simulated the fatigue crack multiplication by meshing
up to K − 1 loading stage is known, so are the locations
the initial gage length into 5000 equal elements. Assuming j
of all cracks. Meanwhile, the accumulated damage DK−1
an element j subjected to K blocks of fatigue loading at
j j j at every critical element j is also known, which needs the
various stress amplitudes S1 , S2 , . . . , SK for corresponding
j j j
fewest number of additional cycles to produce a new crack
cycles n1 , n2 , . . . , nK , the cumulative damage is in its segment. The remaining life (number of cycles) dur-
K j ing loading stage K at every critical element j is obtained
j
 n j
i by calculating the local stress (σ2x )K from stress analysis
DK = j
, (1)
N
i=1 i model, S–N curve, and damage accumulation model. The

Specimen Long distance microscope

Strain gage

Camera
Thermocouple Light supply Fiber optic

F
Chamber

Fig. 3. Schematic of high temperature fatigue test set up.


306 Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311

6.0

5.5
Crack density, λ , (1/cm)

Experiments
Simulation
Theoretical model
5.0

4.5

4.0

3.5
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Number of cycles, log N

Fig. 4. Crack density vs. number of cycles for [0/904 ]s at σ2x


max
/F2t = 1.1 and 24 ◦ C (75 ◦ F).

j
remaining life nK at the critical element j is corresponding to λK is
j K K−1 j
K−1 p
nk j Ncum = Ncum + min(nK ) = Ncum + nK (4)
j
= 1 − DK−1 , (3)
NK
Meanwhile, the accumulated damage at other critical ele-
j ments, such as j at stage K is
where NK is the lifetime of element j under stress SK .
The new crack, corresponding to crack density λK , will p
nK
p j j
form at the element p with the minimum nK remaining life DK = j
+ DK−1 , j = p (5)
under loading stage K. The cumulative number of cycles NK

6.0

Experiments
5.5
Simulation
theoretical model
Crack density,λ, (1/cm)

5.0

4.5

4.0

3.5
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Number of cycles, log N

Fig. 5. Crack density vs. number of cycles for [0/904 ]s at σ2x


max
/F2t = 1.1 and 149 ◦ C (300 ◦ F).
Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311 307

7.0

Experiments
6.5 Simulation
Theoretical prediction
Crack density, λ, (1/cm)

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Number of cycles, log N

Fig. 6. Crack density vs. number of cycles for [0/904 ]s at σ2x


max
/F2t = 1.4 and 24 ◦ C (75 ◦ F).

Consequently, fatigue Monte Carlo simulation starts from tally obtained Weibull distribution for each element in trans-
static Monte Carlo simulation, and by introducing fatigue verse layers. It is observed that the final results of the crack
damage accumulation model and stress-life curves at dif- density are insensitive to the randomly generated values of
ferent temperatures, the fatigue transverse cracking can be transverse strength in each simulation and final simulation
simulated at any load level and temperature. This simula- results are chosen as the average of multiple simulations.
tion is programmed using the Statistics toolbox of MatLab® Simulation results are also shown from Figs. 4 to 9 and they
to generate the transverse strength governing by experimen- agree well with experimental data.

7.0
Experiments
Simulation
6.5 theoretical prediction
Crack density, λ, (1/cm)

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Number of cycles, log N

Fig. 7. Crack density vs. number of cycles for [0/904 ]s at σ2x


max
/F2t = 1.4 and 149 ◦ C (300 ◦ F).
308 Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311

10.0
Experiments
9.5
Simulation
Theoretical prediction
9.0
Crack density, λ, (1/cm)

8.5

8.0

7.5

7.0

6.5

6.0

5.5

5.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Number of cycles, log N

Fig. 8. Crack density vs. number of cycles for [0/902 ]s at σ2x


max
/F2t = 1.2 and 24 ◦ C (75 ◦ F).

10.0
Experiments
9.5
Simulation
9.0 Theoretical prediction
Crack density, λ, (1/cm)

8.5

8.0

7.5

7.0

6.5

6.0

5.5

5.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Number of cycles, logN

Fig. 9. Crack density vs. number of cycles for [0/902 ]s at σ2x


max
/F2t = 1.2 and 149 ◦ C (300 ◦ F).

4. Prediction of fatigue transverse cracking segments. If the transverse strength is homogeneous, new
crack will always form at the location with the maximum
4.1. Statistical distribution of crack spacing stress. Unfortunately, experiments have shown that trans-
verse strength follows Weibull distribution, so crack spacing
Experiments show that the crack density increases, i.e. the will end up with unequal length distribution due to variations
crack spacing decreases with the increase of number of cy- of transverse strength. In this section, we first proposed a
cles and crack spacing is not uniform. Instead, they vary sta- statistical model that predicts crack spacing distribution con-
tistically as indicated in Fig. 2. According to shear lag model, sidering statistical distribution of transverse strength. Specif-
the maximum stress in transverse layers is in the middle of ically, given applied laminate stress and probability density
Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311 309

function (PDF) of transverse strength, the PDF of crack spac- where F2tmax and F2tmin are determined from Eq. (7) by re-
ing can be obtained based on this model. Since this model placing 0 to 2 and , respectively.
can be applied to fatigue crack spacing distribution after the Consequently, if we know the distribution of transverse
first cycle, the concept of critical length corresponding to strength f1 (F2t ), the corresponding distribution of crack
specific stress amplitude is introduced to relate crack density spacing f3 () can be obtained from Eq. (10). Obviously,
to corresponding number of cycles. It is shown that PDF of Eq. (10) is an integral equation that does not have a closed
crack spacing after the first cycle plays an important role in form solution. For arbitrary crack spacing , f3 () can be
determining the crack multiplication under fatigue loading. obtained numerically. To verify our model, the PDFs of
Cho et al. [22] studied matrix crack spacing problem in crack spacing are compared with simulations as indicated
a uniaxial ceramic composite. They pointed out that if the in Fig. 10. Obviously, the model considering transverse
matrix is completely homogeneous in strength, crack will strength distribution from Eq. (10) agrees with the sim-
always form at the midpoint of the segments, which is the ulations much better than the previous model assuming
same case as transverse cracking in cross-ply laminates. If homogeneous strength from Eq. (6).
the PDF of crack spacing preserves its form with the in-
crease of load, the PDF of crack spacing  at a specific load 4.2. Prediction of fatigue transverse cracking
corresponding to maximum spacing 0 and minimum spac-
ing 0 /2 is In this section, we present a simplified theoretical model
0 that predicts transverse cracking in cross-ply laminates based
f(, 0 ) = 2 (6)
 on the distribution of crack spacing obtained from last sec-
tion. As we mentioned before, stress analysis model and
The above result is based on the assumption that the trans-
stress-life (S–N) curve are also employed in this model. It
verse strength is homogeneous. However, experiments show
is known that under fatigue loading the crack spacing distri-
that the transverse strength is not homogeneous, but fol-
bution after the first cycle is the same as static crack spac-
lows Weibull distribution. It means that Eq. (6) could not
ing distribution at the same maximum stress. From shear lag
describe transverse cracking problem in cross-ply laminates
model, the longer the segment’s length (crack spacing), the
accurately and study has to be conducted to solve transverse
greater the maximum stress in this segment. Recalling from
crack spacing problem considering the variation of trans-
stress-life curve, the greater the stress amplitude, the shorter
verse strength. Recalling from shear lag model proposed by
life this segment has. Consequently, for one specific crack
Lee and Daniel [21], at a specific applied stress in trans-
spacing that we define as the critical crack spacing s cor-
verse layer σ̄2x , transverse strength F2t and the correspond-
responding to maximum stress amplitude sF2t , where s is a
ing maximum crack spacing 0 are related by
  factor between 0 and 1, the life Ns of this segment can be
1 found from the S–N curve. The correlation between s and
F2t = 1 − σ̄2x (7)
cosh(α0 /2) sF2t is
 
Since F2t follows Weibull distribution, the PDF of F2t is 1
sF2t = 1 − σ̄ max , (11)
      cosh(αs /2) 2x
m F2t m−1 F2t m
f1 (F2t ) = exp − , (8)
β β β where α is shear lag parameter, σ̄2x
max is the maximum stress

in transverse layers. From Eq. (11), it follows that for any


where m and β are shape parameter and scale parameter, re-
segment whose length is greater than s , the maximum stress
spectively, obtained from experiments. Since 0 is a function
inside is greater than sF2t . In other words, up to number
of F2t , the PDF of 0 can be obtained by statistical theory,
of cycles Ns , new crack will form among segments whose
which is
  length is greater than s .
 dF2t 

f2 (0 ) = f1 [F2t (0 )]   (9) Since we have known the PDF of crack spacing after first
d  0 cycle, the fraction of segments in which new crack will form
up to Ns is actually the shaded area As (As1 + As2 ) shown
Thus, if transverse strength is not homogeneous, the PDF of
in Fig. 11. Assuming the crack density after the first cycle
crack spacing  can not be obtained by Eq. (6). Instead, the
is λ0 , the number of new cracks is
distribution of 0 must be considered. Combining Eqs. from
(6) to (9), the PDF of crack spacing considering transverse M = λ0 L(As1 + 3As2 ), (12)
strength distribution is
 where L is the gage length, As1 is the area between s and
2
f3 () = f(, 0 )f2 (0 ) d0 2s , and As2 is the area beyond 2s . Thus, the crack density
 corresponding to Ns is
  
F2t  dF2t 
max (2)
 0 (F2t )
= f1 (F2t )   dF2t , (10) (M0 + M)
min ()
F2t  2 d0  λs =
L
= λ0 (1 + As1 + 3As2 ) (13)
310 Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311

Fig. 10. PDF of transverse crack spacing in [0/904 ]s at σ̄2x /F2t = 1.1 from simulation and two theoretical models.

Generally, the average S–N curve of unidirectional trans-  2s


verse lamina can be expressed as As1 = f3 () d
s
 2s  F max (2)  
sF2t = S(Ns , F2t , R, T), (14) 1 2t  dF2t 
= 
0 (F2t )f1 (F2t )   dF2t d
s 
2 min ()
F2t d0 
where S is the function which relates stress amplitude sF2t
and life Ns , R is the stress ratio in transverse layers, and T  ∞
(16)
is the temperature. It is necessary to point out that the stress As2 = f3 () d
2s
 ∞  F max ()
ratio of transverse layers in cross-ply laminates be the same  
as that in Eq. (14). Substitute Eq. (14) into Eq. (11), The 1 2t  dF2t 
= 0 (F2t )f1 (F2t )  
critical crack spacing s is  2  d  dF2t d
2s F2t (/2)
min 0
 
2 −1 1 (17)
s = cosh (15)
α 1 − (S(Ns , F2t , R, T))/σ̄2x
max
Combining Eqs. (13), (15)–(17), The crack density λ at num-
ber of cycles N is
Since the PDF of crack spacing after first cycle f3 () is
indicated as Eq. (10), the shaded area As1 and As2 are λ = F(N, λ0 , m, β, σ̄2x
max
, F2t , R, α, T) (18)

Fig. 11. PDF of crack spacing and fraction of segments in which new cracks happen.
Z. Sun et al. / Materials Science and Engineering A361 (2003) 302–311 311

Eq. (18) is the governing equation that predicts crack den- cycles to the corresponding crack density that was obtained
sity versus number of cycles at arbitrary stress level and by calculating the area under PDF of crack spacing. The
temperature. Obviously, many factors, such as λ0 , statistical proposed model is only applicable for prediction of trans-
distribution of transverse strength F2t , stress amplitude σ̄2x
max verse cracking in cross-ply laminates. More study is needed
and R, laminate lay-ups and temperature, all contribute to to predict damage development in off-axis laminates under
the transverse crack multiplication under fatigue loading. cyclic loading that varies with time. Obviously, it is already
Theoretical prediction was conducted to study the crack beyond the scope of this paper. Finally, both simulation
multiplication of two cross-ply lay-ups: [0/904 ]s and and prediction model were implemented to several exper-
[0/902 ]s . Since stress-life curve is temperature dependent, imental cases and compared with experimental data. Good
prediction can be made both at room temperature and high agreements with experimental results were obtained for
temperature based on S–N curves at different temperatures both simulation and prediction.
and Eq. (18). Since PDF of crack spacing cannot be ex-
pressed in explicit form, Maple software is employed to
calculate the integrals numerically. For each lay-up, tem- Acknowledgements
perature and stress level, prediction was compared with
experimental results and simulation results obtained before. This research was done at Northwestern University and
It is shown that our theoretical model agrees very well with sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research
simulation and experimental results. (AFOSR) under grant number F49620-98-1-0056. We are
grateful to Dr. Ozden O. Ochoa of the AFOSR for her en-
couragement and co-operation.
5. Conclusions

Fatigue damage of a polymer matrix composite was References


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