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Open AccessArticle

Fiber Bridging Induced Toughening Effects on the Delamination Behavior of Composite Stiffened Panels under Bending Loading: A Numerical/Experimental Study

1
Department of Engineering, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, via Roma, 29, 81031 Aversa, Italy
2
Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, CNR—Research National Council of Italy, P.le E. Fermi, Granatello, Portici, 80055 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(15), 2407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12152407
Received: 23 June 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 26 July 2019 / Published: 28 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics)
In this paper, a research activity, focused on the investigation of new reinforcements able to improve the toughness of composite materials systems, is introduced. The overall aim is to delay the delamination propagation and, consequently, to increase the carrying load capability of composite structures by exploiting the fiber bridging effects. Indeed, the influence of fiber bridging related Mode I fracture toughness (GIc) values on the onset and propagation of delaminations in stiffened composite panels, under three-point bending loading conditions, have been experimentally and numerically studied. The investigated stiffened panels have been manufactured by using epoxy resin/carbon fibers material systems, characterized by different GIc values, which can be associated with the material fiber bridging sensitivity. Experimental data, in terms of load and delaminated area as a function of the out-of-plane displacements, have been obtained for each tested sample. Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) has been performed to identify the debonding extension and position. To completely understand the evolution of the delamination and its dependence on the material characteristics, experiments have been numerically simulated using a newly developed robust numerical procedure for the delamination growth simulation, able to take into account the influence of the fracture toughness changes, associated with the materials’ fiber bridging sensitivity. The combined use of numerical results and experimental data has allowed introducing interesting considerations of the capability of the fiber bridging to substantially slow down the evolution of the debonding between skin and reinforcements in composite stiffened panels. View Full-Text
Keywords: fracture toughness; delamination; ultrasonic inspection; numerical simulations; carbon fibers fracture toughness; delamination; ultrasonic inspection; numerical simulations; carbon fibers
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Russo, A.; Zarrelli, M.; Sellitto, A.; Riccio, A. Fiber Bridging Induced Toughening Effects on the Delamination Behavior of Composite Stiffened Panels under Bending Loading: A Numerical/Experimental Study. Materials 2019, 12, 2407.

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