Raman spectroscopy investigation of stiffness change and residual strains due to matrix cracking
Katerelos, Dionisiοs G.
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The matrix cracking models developed for cross-ply composite laminates have been poorly extended in the past to more complex geometries used in practice, and they are still under development. In this paper, a new detailed analysis of the effect of matrix cracking on the behaviour of cross-ply and [0/45]s laminates under uniaxial tension is attempted. The model used in this work is applicable both to cross-ply laminates and unbalanced systems. It gives exact closed-form expressions for all thermomechanical properties of a general symmetric laminate with cracks in arbitrary layers. The theoretical approach is backed by experimental data obtained by microscopic strain-state variation measurements within a specimen, with using the technique of laser Raman spectroscopy. Glass-fibre-reinforced epoxy systems were investigated. Embedded aramid fibres-sensors within the 0° ply and near the 0°/θ ° interface were necessary due to the poor Raman signal of glass. Using experimental Raman data, the residual strain and the stiffness reduction are determined as functions of increase in crack density. The stiffness reduction is predicted with a high accuracy, whereas the measured residual strains are larger than predicted. The good results for the reduction in the elastic modulus show that the basic assumption of the model is accurate. The difference is explained by the viscoelastic-viscoplastic behaviour of the off-axis layer in shear, which in creases the “apparent” residual strain.