Design of a Double Cantilever Beam Test Specimen and Fixture for Kink Band Formation in Unidirectional Fibre Reinforced Composites.

Composite materials are widely used in demanding applications in aerospace and other industries. In order to understand the complex behaviour of the composite materials and their components, standardised test methods are used. One example is the double cantilever beam (DCB) test in which the test specimen is loaded in an opening, i.e., tensile mode.

Failures in composite materials loaded compression are different from those in tension, for example, kink band or buckling-like failures can occur.In this project, several DCBs are designed and a new fixture which allows for compression testing of a DCB is developed for an existing Instron testing machine.

The fixture overcomes a known problem of tensile peak causing the failure of the adhesive at the inner surfaces of the DBC by applying additional compressive loads along the outer surfaces of the DBC. The compressive forces can induce the desired kink band formation so that researchers can better study the failure mode.

The conceptual development of the new DCBs and the new fixture are presented. Several prototypes of the specimens and the fixture are modelled using the three-dimensional (3D) computer-aided design software Creo Parametric 2.0. One of the fixtures is selected to further study. The different DCB specimens are studied in order to obtain information about the kink band using 3D finite element analysis with the software programme Abaqus CAE.

The selected fixture is analysed to determine if there are any areas of concern. Finally, the behaviour of the compression stress along the DCB using two pairs of forces is studied. Unfortunately, it is determined that the tensile peak experienced by the adhesive cannot be eliminated by the application of two pairs of compressive loads, one at the free end and the other in the vicinity of the tensile peak.

Several suggestions are made for future work which might serve to reduce the tensile peak; e.g., the movable force couple is applied as a surface load instead of a point load. For this, the fixture will have to be modified with a new geometry, although the DCB could be the same. This will allow further work to focus on the combined behaviour of the tensile peak and the fixture.
Source: University of Skövde
Authors: Cámara Vela, Juan Antonio | Sánchez Molina, Juan Manuel

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