The thermo-mechanical response of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates subjected to continuous tensile loading and programmed interrupted tensile loading is examined to understand the changes due to damage progression. Quasi-isotropic laminates were prepared using 500 GSM twill weave carbon fabric with LY 556 resin and HY 991 hardener by hand lay-up technique, followed by curing under hot compression. A few specimens were subjected to an impact loading to 23 J and 51 J energy levels using a hemispherical tip to induce low velocity impact damage. Passive thermal imaging of woven CFRP laminates during tensile testing was captured using a TIM 160 Micro-epsilon infrared thermal camera. Temperature response during tensile testing provided a good correlation with deformation mode esp. for specimens impacted with 51 J of energy.

Tensile tests were interrupted at periodic loads and unloaded and reloaded to study the thermal response after prior plastic deformation damage in the specimen. Unlike the case of GFRP specimens, distinct changes in thermo-elastic slope due to prior plastic deformation damage could not be clearly identified. As impact damage resulted in de-lamination of some layers, active thermography technique was used to study the rate of cooling of specimen with time when the damage is closer to the camera face as well as when it is away from the camera face. The cooling curves obtained were found to be dependent on the location of the damage, as well as on heating face of the specimen.

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