This paper aims to investigate the effect of fabrication processes on fatigue life enhancement of interference-fit pin-loaded glass fiber reinforced plastics (GFRP) composites. In this experimental study, three GFRP composite fabrication processes are used: hand lay-up (HL), vacuum infusion (VI), and hybrid (hand lay-up + vacuum infusion) processes. Stainless steel pins with interference fits ranging from 0% to 1% are inserted into the GFRP samples. The quasi-static and fatigue properties of the pin-loaded composites with interference fit (0.6% and 1%) are then compared to samples with transition-fit (0% of interference fit). Even with possible local damage on the joints, interference fit does not degrade the performance of the composite joints under quasi-static loading, especially when kept under 1% of interference fit. However, fatigue life is highly related to the fabrication processes. Vacuum infusion processed GFRP samples show most visible fatigue life improvement due to interference fit, while hand lay-up or hybrid samples have moderate improvement. Fractography and failure mode of each sample are examined using microscopes.

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