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Open AccessArticle

A Study of the Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Unidirectional Flax/Epoxy Composites

1
Mechanical Engineering Department, École de technologie supérieure, 1100 Notre-Dame West, Montreal, QC H3C 1K3, Canada
2
Mechanical Engineering Department, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), 3351 Boul. des Forges, Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7, Canada
3
McGill University, 845 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4020066
Received: 14 May 2020 / Revised: 2 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 June 2020 / Published: 5 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Modelling of Composites)
Having environmental and economic advantages, flax fibers have been recognized as a potential replacement for glass fibers as reinforcement in epoxy composites for various applications. Its widening applications require employing failure criteria and analysis methods for engineering design, analysis, and optimization of this material. Among different failure modes, delamination is known as one of the earliest ones in laminated composites and needs to be studied in detail. However, the delamination characteristics of unidirectional (UD) flax/epoxy composites in pure Mode I has rarely been addressed, while Mode II and Mixed-mode I/II have never been addressed before. This work studies and evaluates the interlaminar fracture toughness and delamination behavior of UD flax/epoxy composite under Mode I, Mode II, and Mixed-mode I/II loading. The composites were tested following corresponding ASTM standards and fulfilled all the requirements. The interlaminar fracture toughness of the composite were determined and validated based on the specific characteristics of natural fibers. Considering the variation in the composite structure configuration and its effects, the results of interlaminar fracture toughness fit in the range of those reported for similar composites in the literature and provide a basis for the material properties of this composite. View Full-Text
Keywords: flax-epoxy composite; interlaminar fracture energy; fracture toughness; delamination; Mode I; Mode II and Mixed-mode I–II interlaminar fracture; critical energy release rate flax-epoxy composite; interlaminar fracture energy; fracture toughness; delamination; Mode I; Mode II and Mixed-mode I–II interlaminar fracture; critical energy release rate
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Saadati, Y.; Chatelain, J.-F.; Lebrun, G.; Beauchamp, Y.; Bocher, P.; Vanderesse, N. A Study of the Interlaminar Fracture Toughness of Unidirectional Flax/Epoxy Composites. J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4, 66.

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