Abstract

Anisotropic composite materials have been extensively utilized in mechanical, automotive, aerospace and other engineering areas due to high strength-to-weight ratio, superb corrosion resistance, and exceptional thermal performance. As the use of composite materials increases, determination of material properties, mechanical analysis and failure of the structure become important for the design of composite structure. In particular, the fatigue failure is important to ensure that structures can survive in harsh environmental conditions. The non-homogeneous character of composites induces diverse failure modes of the constituent including fiber fracture, matrix cracking, fiber-matrix interface failure, and delamination. Non-homogeneity of composite materials makes their fatigue behavior very complex in comparison with traditional engineering materials. In this study, a progressive damage theory is extended to simulate fatigue failure of composite laminates under fatigue loading conditions. A residual material property degradation model was employed to predict fatigue damage due to arbitrary stress ratio without performing excessive quantities of testing. This generalized residual material property degradation rule is implemented into user subroutine USDFLD in ABAQUS through which material degradation states are updated over the progressive fatigue loading. The present computational method is verified by comparing the simulated results with the experimental data available in the literature.

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