International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 89–97 | Cite as

Effect of compressive transverse normal stress on mode II fracture toughness in polymeric composites

Original Paper


Effect of transverse normal stress on mode II fracture toughness of unidirectional fiber reinforced composites was studied experimentally in conjunction with finite element analyses. Mode II fracture tests were conducted on the S2/8552 glass/epoxy composite using off-axis specimens with a through thickness crack. The finite element method was employed to perform stress analyses from which mode II fracture toughness was extracted. In the analysis, crack surface contact friction effect was considered. It was found that the transverse normal compressive stress has significant effect on mode II fracture toughness of the composite. Moreover, the fracture toughness measured using the off-axis specimen was found to be quite different from that evaluated using the conventional end notched flexural (ENF) specimen in three-point bending. It was found that mode II fracture toughness cannot be characterized by the crack tip singular shear stress alone; nonsingular stresses ahead of the crack tip appear to have substantial influence on the apparent mode II fracture toughness of the composite.


Polymer-matrix composites Mode II fracture toughness Transverse normal stress Stress singularity Off-axis specimen ENF specimen 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Aeronautics and AstronauticsPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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