Abstract

In this study, AS4/914 grade carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) laminates with two different quasi-isotropic (QI) layup sequences are compared for their performance under four point bend flexure fatigue loads. The QI laminates were designated and fabricated as Laminate-1 (L1) [0/45/-45/90]2S and Laminate-2 (L2) [0/90/45/-45]2S, respectively. These laminates were designed, such that the 0° layers are placed at a similar position in both the laminate systems by changing the other layers. During the test, load and displacement data was monitored online along with instantaneous number of constant load amplitude (CLA) fatigue cycles to calculate the stiffness degradation. Three load levels of 90%, 80%, and 70% of the ultimate flexure strength (UFS) were chosen for assessing the flexure fatigue behavior of the laminates. A few tests were also attempted under variable amplitude loads: (i) high amplitude cycles followed by low amplitude and (ii) low amplitude cycles followed by high amplitude to examine load sequence effect on fatigue life, if any, as compared to the fatigue life under CLA. It has been observed that the laminate L1 performs better under higher amplitudes, while the laminate L2 shows increased life under lower load and variable amplitudes. The results obtained in the form of data plots and failure modes, supported by microscopic images, are discussed in the paper.

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