Theoretical models were developed to predict the nature of the elevated temperature failure behavior in composites containing bridged cracks both for the case where crack front creep is absent (brittle regime) and for the case where a frontal creep process zone is present (ductile regime). The nature of the thermally activated time-dependent bridging of matrix cracks was first briefly reviewed from an earlier study and then applied to the case where crack front creep was present. Stable crack growth was predicted both in the presence and absence of crack front creep after an initial delay period, or initiation, which depends on crack size and wake parameters, such as, fiber diameter, volume fraction and interface properties. The dependence of the initiation time and crack growth rates on flaw size and wake parameters as well as on composite microstructure was derived both for the presence and absence of crack front creep. The implications of the results for elevated temperature composite component design are discussed.

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