Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 29, Issue 15, pp 3857–3896 | Cite as

The physics and mechanics of fibre-reinforced brittle matrix composites

  • A. G. Evans
  • F. W. Zok


This review compiles knowledge about the mechanical and structural performance of brittle matrix composites. The overall philosophy recognizes the need for models that allow efficient interpolation between experimental results, as the constituents and the fibre architecture are varied. This approach is necessary because empirical methods are prohibitively expensive. Moreover, the field is not yet mature, though evolving rapidly. Consequently, an attempt is made to provide a framework into which models could be inserted, and then validated by means of an efficient experimental matrix. The most comprehensive available models and the status of experimental assessments are reviewed. The phenomena given emphasis include: the stress/strain behaviour in tension and shear, the ultimate tensile strength and notch sensitivity, fatigue, stress corrosion and creep.


Polymer Fatigue Tensile Strength Brittle Material Processing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Parameters found in the paper by Hutchinson and Jensen [33], Table IV


Length of unbridged matrix crack


Fracture mirror radius


Notch size


Transition flaw size


Plate dimension


Parameters found in the paper by Hutchinson and Jensen [33], Table IV


Parameters found in the paper by Hutchinson and Jensen [33], Table IV


Matrix crack spacing


Saturation crack spacing


Fibre volume fraction


Fibre volume fraction in the loading direction


Function related to cracking of 90 ° plies


Fibre pull-out length


Sliding length


Debond length


Shear band length


Shape parameter for fibre strength distribution


Shape parameter for matrix flaw-size distribution


Creep exponent


Creep exponent for matrix


Creep exponent for fibre


Residual stress in matrix in axial orientation


Deviatoric stress




Ply thickness


Beam thickness


Crack opening displacement (COD)


COD due to applied stress


COD due to bridging


Sliding displacement


Beam width


Creep rheology parameter ɛo o n


Specific heat at constant strain


Young's modulus for composite


Plane strain Young's modulus for composites


Unloading modulus


Young's modulus of material with matrix cracks


Young's modulus of fibre


Young's modulus of matrix


Ply modulus in longitudinal orientation


Ply modulus in transverse orientation


Tangent modulus


Secant modulus


Shear modulus


Energy release rate (ERR)




Tip ERR at lower bound


Stress intensity factor (SIF)


SIF caused by bridging


Critical SIF for matrix


Crack growth resistance


SIF at crack tip


Moment of inertia


Crack spacing in 90 ° plies


Fragment length


Gauge length


Reference length for fibres


Number of fatigue cycles


Number of cycles at which sliding stress reaches steady-state


Fibre radius


R-ratio for fatigue (σmaxmin)


Radius of curvature


Tensile strength of fibre


Dry bundle strength of fibres


Characteristic fibre strength


UTS subject to global load sharing


Scale factor for fibre strength


Pull-out strength


Threshold stress for fatigue


Ultimate tensile strength (UTS)


UTS in the presence of a flaw




Change in temperature


Traction function for thermomechanical fatigue (TMF)


Bridging function for TMF


Linear thermal coefficient of expansion (TCE)


TCE of fibre


TCE of matrix


Shear strain


Shear ductility


Characteristic length


Hysteresis loop width




Strain caused by relief of residual stress upon matrix cracking


Elastic strain


Permanent strain


Reference strain rate for creep


Transient creep strain


Sliding strain


Pull-out parameter


Friction coefficient


Fatigue exponent (of order 0.1)


Beam curvature


Poisson's ratio


Orientation of interlaminar cracks






Bridging stress


Peak, reference stress


Effective stress = [(3/2)sijsij]1/2


Stress in fibre


Debond stress


Stress in matrix


Matrix cracking stress


Stress on 0 ° plies


Creep reference stress


Radial stress


Residual stress


Saturation stress


Peak stress for traction law


Lower bound stress for tunnel cracking


Misfit stress


Interface sliding stress


Value of sliding stress after fatigue


Constant component of interface sliding stress


In-plane shear strength


Critical stress for interlaminar crack growth


Steady-state value of τ after fatigue


Displacement caused by matrix removal


Unloading strain differential


Reloading strain differential


Fracture energy


Interface debond energy


Fibre fracture energy


Matrix fracture energy


Fracture resistance


Steady-state fracture resistance


Transverse fracture energy


Misfit strain


Misfit strain at ambient temperature


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. G. Evans
    • 1
  • F. W. Zok
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Department, College of EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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