Comparative Parametric Analysis on the Dynamic Response of Fibre Composite Beams with Debonding

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites enjoy an array of applications ranging from aerospace, marine and military to automobile, recreational and civil industry due to their outstanding properties. A structural glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite sandwich panel made from E-glass fiber skin and a modified phenolic core has been manufactured in Australia for civil engineering applications. One of the major mechanisms of damage in FRP composites is skin-core debonding. The presence of debonding is of great concern not only because it severely affects the strength but also it modifies the dynamic characteristics of the structure, including natural frequency and vibration modes. This paper deals with the investigation of the dynamic characteristics of a GFRP beam with single and multiple debonding by finite element based numerical simulations and analyses using the STRAND7 finite element (FE) software package. Three-dimensional computer models have been developed and numerical simulations were done to assess the dynamic behavior. The FE model developed has been validated with published experimental, analytical and numerical results for fully bonded as well as debonded beams. A comparative analysis is carried out based on a comprehensive parametric investigation. It is observed that the reduction in natural frequency is more affected by single debonding than the equally sized multiple debonding regions located symmetrically to the single debonding position. Thus it is revealed that a large single debonding area leads to more damage in terms of natural frequency reduction than isolated small debonding zones of equivalent area, appearing in the GFRP beam. Furthermore, the extents of natural frequency shifts seem mode-dependent and do not seem to have a monotonous trend of increasing with the mode numbers.

Investigating what Effects Aviation Fluids Have on the Flatwise Compressive Strength of Nomex® Honeycomb Core Material

One of the disadvantages of honeycomb sandwich structure is that they are prone to fluid intrusion. The purpose of this study is to determine if the structural properties of honeycomb core are affected by contact with a fluid. The test specimens were manufactured of fiberglass prepreg for the facesheets and Nomex® honeycomb core for the core material in accordance with ASTM C-365/365M. Test specimens were soaked in several different kinds of fluids, such as aircraft fuel, turbine engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and water for a period of 60 days. A flatwise compressive test was performed, and the test results were analyzed to determine how the contact with aircraft fluids affected the compressive strength of the Nomex® honeycomb core and how the strength was recovered when the specimens were dry. In addition, the investigation of de-bonding between facesheet and core material after soaking were performed to support the study.

Micromechanical Modeling of Fiber-Matrix Debonding in Unidirectional Composites

Due to variations in damage mechanisms in the microscale, the behavior of fiber-reinforced composites is nonlinear and difficult to model. To make use of computational advantages, homogenization method is applied to the micro-scale model in order to minimize the cost at the expense of detail of local microscale phenomena. In this paper, the effective stiffness is calculated using the homogenization of nonlinear behavior of a composite representative volume element (RVE) containing fiber-matrix debonding. The damage modes for the RVE are considered by using cohesive elements and contacts for the cohesive behavior of the interface between fiber and matrix. To predict more realistic responses of composite materials, different random distributions of fibers are proposed besides square and hexagonal arrays. It was shown that in some cases, there is quite different damage behavior in different fiber distributions. A comprehensive comparison has been made between different graphs.

Evaluation for Punching Shear Strength of Slab-Column Connections with Ultra High Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Overlay

This paper presents the test results on 5 slab-column connection specimens with Ultra High Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (UHPFRC) overlay including 1 control specimen to investigate retrofitting effect of UHPFRC overlay on the punching shear capacity. The test parameters were the thickness of the UHPFRC overlay and the amount of steel re-bars in it. All specimens failed in punching shear mode with abrupt failure aspect. The test results showed that by adding a thin layer of UHPFRC over the Reinforced Concrete (RC) substrates, considerable increases in global punching shear resistance up to 82% and structural rigidity were achieved. Furthermore, based on the cracking patterns the composite systems appeared to be governed by two failure modes: 1) diagonal shear failure in RC section and 2) debonding failure at the interface.

Modelling of Factors Affecting Bond Strength of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Externally Bonded to Timber and Concrete

In recent years, fibre reinforced polymers as applications of strengthening materials have received significant attention by civil engineers and environmentalists because of their excellent characteristics. Currently, these composites have become a mainstream technology for strengthening of infrastructures such as steel, concrete and more recently, timber and masonry structures. However, debonding is identified as the main problem which limit the full utilisation of the FRP material. In this paper, a preliminary analysis of factors affecting bond strength of FRP-to-concrete and timber bonded interface has been conducted. A novel theoretical method through regression analysis has been established to evaluate these factors. Results of proposed model are then assessed with results of pull-out tests and satisfactory comparisons are achieved between measured failure loads (R2 = 0.83, P < 0.0001) and the predicted loads (R2 = 0.78, P < 0.0001).

High Strength, High Toughness Polyhydroxybutyrate-Co-Valerate Based Biocomposites

Biocomposites is a field that has gained much scientific attention due to the current substantial consumption of non-renewable resources and the environmentally harmful disposal methods required for traditional polymer composites. Research on natural fiber reinforced polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) has gained considerable momentum over the past decade. There is little work on PHAs reinforced with unidirectional (UD) natural fibers and little work on using epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) as a toughening agent for PHA-based biocomposites. In this work, we prepared polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) biocomposites reinforced with UD 30 wt.% flax fibers and evaluated the use of ENR with 50% epoxidation (ENR50) as a toughening agent for PHBV biocomposites. Quasi-unidirectional flax/PHBV composites were prepared by hand layup, powder impregnation followed by compression molding.  Toughening agents – polybutylene adiphate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) and ENR50 – were cryogenically ground into powder and mechanically mixed with main matrix PHBV to maintain the powder impregnation process. The tensile, flexural and impact properties of the biocomposites were measured and morphology of the composites examined using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The UD biocomposites showed exceptionally high mechanical properties as compared to the results obtained previously where only short fibers have been used. The improved tensile and flexural properties were attributed to the continuous nature of the fiber reinforcement and the increased proportion of fibers in the loading direction. The improved impact properties were attributed to a larger surface area for fiber-matrix debonding and for subsequent sliding and fiber pull-out mechanisms to act on, allowing more energy to be absorbed. Coating cryogenically ground ENR50 particles with PHBV powder successfully inhibits the self-healing nature of ENR-50, preventing particles from coalescing and overcoming problems in mechanical mixing, compounding and molding. Cryogenic grinding, followed by powder impregnation and subsequent compression molding is an effective route to the production of high-mechanical-property biocomposites based on renewable resources for high-obsolescence applications such as plastic casings for consumer electronics.

A Failure Criterion for Unsupported Boreholes in Poorly Cemented Granular Formations

The breakage of bonding between sand particles and their dislodgment from the borehole wall are among the main factors resulting in a borehole failure in poorly cemented granular formations. The grain debonding usually precedes the borehole failure and it can be considered as a sign that the onset of the borehole collapse is imminent. Detecting the bonding breakage point and introducing an appropriate failure criterion will play an important role in borehole stability analysis. To study the influence of different factors on the initiation of sand bonding breakage at the borehole wall, a series of laboratory tests was designed and conducted on poorly cemented sand samples. The total absorbed strain energy per volume of material up to the point of the observed particle debonding was computed. The results indicated that the particle bonding breakage point at the borehole wall was reached both before and after the peak strength of the thick-walled hollow cylinder specimens depending on the stress path and cement content. Three different cement contents and two borehole sizes were investigated to study the influence of the bonding strength and scale on the particle dislodgment. Test results showed that the stress path has a significant influence on the onset of the sand bonding breakage. It was shown that for various stress paths, there is a near linear relationship between the absorbed energy and the normal effective mean stress.

Study of Debonding of Composite Material from a Deforming Concrete Beam Using Infrared Thermography

This article focuses on the cycle of experimental studies of the formation of cracks and debondings in the concrete reinforced with carbon fiber. This research was carried out in Perm National Research Polytechnic University. A series of CFRP-strengthened RC beams was tested to investigate the influence of preload and crack repairing factors on CFRP debonding. IRT was applied to detect the early stage of IC debonding during the laboratory bending tests. It was found that for the beams strengthened under load after crack injecting, СFRP debonding strain is 4-65% lower than for the preliminary strengthened beams. The beams strengthened under the load had a relative area of debonding of 2 times higher than preliminary strengthened beams. The СFRP debonding strain is weakly dependent on the strength of the concrete substrate. For beams with a transverse wrapping anchorage in support sections FRP debonding is not a failure mode.

Comparative Study of Tensile Properties of Cast and Hot Forged Alumina Nanoparticle Reinforced Composites

Particle reinforced Metal Matrix Composite (MMC) succeeds in synergizing the metallic matrix with ceramic particle reinforcements to result in improved strength, particularly at elevated temperatures, but adversely it affects the ductility of the matrix because of agglomeration and porosity. The present study investigates the outcome of tensile properties in a cast and hot forged composite reinforced simultaneously with coarse and fine particles. Nano-sized alumina particles have been generated by milling mixture of aluminum and manganese dioxide powders. Milled particles after drying are added to molten metal and the resulting slurry is cast. The microstructure of the composites shows good distribution of both the size categories of particles without significant clustering. The presence of nanoparticles along with coarser particles in a composite improves both strength and ductility considerably. Delay in debonding of coarser particles to higher stress is due to reduced mismatch in extension caused by increased strain hardening in presence of the nanoparticles. However, higher addition of powder mix beyond a limit results in deterioration of mechanical properties, possibly due to clustering of nanoparticles. The porosity in cast composite generally increases with the increasing addition of powder mix as observed during process and on forging it has got reduced. The base alloy and nanocomposites show improvement in flow stress which could be attributed to lowering of porosity and grain refinement as a consequence of forging.

Peeling Behavior of Thin Elastic Films Bonded to Rigid Substrate of Random Surface Topology

We study the fracture mechanics of peeling of thin films perfectly bonded to a rigid substrate of any random surface topology using an analytical formulation. A generalized theoretical model has been developed to determine the peel strength of thin elastic films. It is demonstrated that an improvement in the peel strength can be achieved by modifying the surface characteristics of the rigid substrate. Characterization study has been performed to analyze the effect of different parameters on effective peel force from the rigid surface. Different surface profiles such as circular and sinusoidal has been considered to demonstrate the bonding characteristics of film-substrate interface. Condition for the instability in the debonding of the film is analyzed, where the localized self-debonding arises depending upon the film and surface characteristics. This study is towards improved adhesion strength of thin films to rigid substrate using different textured surfaces.

Flexural Performance of the Sandwich Structures Having Aluminum Foam Core with Different Thicknesses

The structures obtained with the use of sandwich technologies combine low weight with high energy absorbing capacity and load carrying capacity. Hence, there is a growing and markedly interest in the use of sandwiches with aluminum foam core because of very good properties such as flexural rigidity and energy absorption capability. In the current investigation, the static threepoint bending tests were carried out on the sandwiches with aluminum foam core and glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) skins at different values of support span distances aiming the analyses of their flexural performance. The influence of the core thickness and the GFRP skin type was reported in terms of peak load and energy absorption capacity. For this purpose, the skins with two different types of fabrics which have same thickness value and the aluminum foam core with two different thicknesses were bonded with a commercial polyurethane based flexible adhesive in order to combine the composite sandwich panels. The main results of the bending tests are: force-displacement curves, peak force values, absorbed energy, collapse mechanisms and the effect of the support span length and core thickness. The results of the experimental study showed that the sandwich with the skins made of S-Glass Woven fabrics and with the thicker foam core presented higher mechanical values such as load carrying and energy absorption capacities. The increment of the support span distance generated the decrease of the mechanical values for each type of panels, as expected, because of the inverse proportion between the force and span length. The most common failure types of the sandwiches are debonding of the lower skin and the core shear. The obtained results have particular importance for applications that require lightweight structures with a high capacity of energy dissipation, such as the transport industry (automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding and marine industry), where the problems of collision and crash have increased in the last years.

Influence of Single and Multiple Skin-Core Debonding on Free Vibration Characteristics of Innovative GFRP Sandwich Panels

An Australian manufacturer has fabricated an innovative GFRP sandwich panel made from E-glass fiber skin and a modified phenolic core for structural applications. Debonding, which refers to separation of skin from the core material in composite sandwiches, is one of the most common types of damage in composites. The presence of debonding is of great concern because it not only severely affects the stiffness but also modifies the dynamic behaviour of the structure. Generally it is seen that the majority of research carried out has been concerned about the delamination of laminated structures whereas skin-core debonding has received relatively minor attention. Furthermore it is observed that research done on composite slabs having multiple skin-core debonding is very limited. To address this gap, a comprehensive research investigating dynamic behaviour of composite panels with single and multiple debonding is presented. The study uses finite-element modelling and analyses for investigating the influence of debonding on free vibration behaviour of single and multilayer composite sandwich panels. A broad parametric investigation has been carried out by varying debonding locations, debonding sizes and support conditions of the panels in view of both single and multiple debonding. Numerical models were developed with Strand7 finite element package by innovatively selecting the suitable elements to diligently represent their actual behavior. Three-dimensional finite element models were employed to simulate the physically real situation as close as possible, with the use of an experimentally and numerically validated finite element model. Comparative results and conclusions based on the analyses are presented. For similar extents and locations of debonding, the effect of debonding on natural frequencies appears greatly dependent on the end conditions of the panel, giving greater decrease in natural frequency when the panels are more restrained. Some modes are more sensitive to debonding and this sensitivity seems to be related to their vibration mode shapes. The fundamental mode seems generally the least sensitive mode to debonding with respect to the variation in free vibration characteristics. The results indicate the effectiveness of the developed three dimensional finite element models in assessing debonding damage in composite sandwich panels.

Durability Study of Pultruded CFRP Plates under Sustained Bending in Distilled Water and Seawater Immersions: Effects on the Visco-Elastic Properties

This paper presents effects of distilled water, seawater and sustained bending strains of 30% and 50% ultimate strain at room temperature, on the durability of unidirectional pultruded carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) plates. In this study, dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) was used to investigate the synergic effects of the immersions and bending strains on the viscoelastic properties of (CFRP) such as storage modulus, tan delta and glass transition temperature. The study reveals that the storage modulus and glass transition temperature increase while tan delta peak decreases in the initial stage of both immersions due to the progression of curing. The storage modulus and Tg subsequently decrease and tan delta increases due to the matrix plasticization. The blister induced damages in the unstrained seawater samples enhance water uptake and cause more serious degradation of Tg and storage modulus than in water immersion. Increasing sustained bending decreases Tg and storage modulus in a long run for both immersions due to resin matrix cracking and debonding. The combined effects of immersions and strains are not clearly reflected due to the statistical effects of DMA sample sizes and competing processes of molecular reorientation and postcuring.

Enhanced Thermal Properties of Rigid PVC Foams Using Fly Ash

PVC foam-fly ash composites (PVC-FA) are characterized for their structural, morphological, mechanical and thermal properties. The tensile strength of the composites increased modestly with higher fly ash loading, while there was a significant increase in the elastic modulus for the same composites. On the other hand, a decrease in elongation at UTS was observed upon increasing fly ash content due to increased rigidity of the composites. Similarly, the flexural modulus increased as the fly ash loading increased, where the composites containing 25 phr fly ash showed the highest flexural strength. Thermal properties of PVC-fly ash composites were determined by Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). The microstructural properties were studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). SEM results confirm that fly ash particles were mechanically interlocked in PVC matrix with good interfacial interaction with the matrix. Particle agglomeration and debonding was observed in samples containing higher amounts of fly ash.

Effect of 2wt% Cu Addition on the Tensile Properties and Fracture Behavior of Peak Aged Al-6Si-0.5Mg-2Ni Alloy at Various Strain Rates

Effect of 2wt% Cu addition on tensile properties and fracture behavior of Al-6Si-0.5Mg-2Ni alloy at various strain rates were studied. The solution treated Al-6Si-0.5Mg-2Ni (-2Cu) alloys, were aged isochronally for 1 hour at temperatures up to 300oC. The uniaxial tension test was carried out at strain rate ranging from 10-4s-1 to 10-2s-1 in order to investigate the strain rate dependence of tensile properties. Tensile strengths were found to increase with ageing temperature and the maximum being attained ageing for 1 hr at 225oC (peak aged condition). Addition of 2wt% Cu resulted in an increase in tensile properties at all strain rates. Evaluation of tensile properties at three different strain rates (10-4, 10-3 and 10-2 s-1) showed that strain rates affected the tensile properties significantly. At higher strain rates the strength was better but ductility was poor. Microstructures of broken specimens showed that both the void coalescence and the interface debonding affect the fracture behavior of the alloys

Cold-pressed Kenaf and Fibreglass Hybrid Composites Laminates: Effect of Fibre Types

Natural fibres have emerged as the potential reinforcement material for composites and thus gain attraction by many researchers. This is mainly due to their applicable benefits as they offer low density, low cost, renewable, biodegradability and environmentally harmless and also comparable mechanical properties with synthetic fibre composites. The properties of hybrid composites highly depends on several factors, including the interaction of fillers with the polymeric matrix, shape and size (aspect ratio), and orientation of fillers [1]. In this study, natural fibre kenaf composites and kenaf/fibreglass hybrid composites were fabricated by a combination of hand lay-up method and cold-press method. The effect of different fibre types (powder, short and long) on the tensile properties of composites is investigated. The kenaf composites with and without the addition of fibreglass were then characterized by tensile testing and scanning electron microscopy. A significant improvement in tensile strength and modulus were indicated by the introduction of long kenaf/woven fibreglass hybrid composite. However, the opposite trends are observed in kenaf powder composite. Fractographic observation shows that fibre/matrix debonding causes the fibres pull out. This phenomenon results in the fibre and matrix fracture.

Grooving Method to Postpone Debonding of FRP Sheets Used for Shear Strengthening

One of the most common practices for strengthening the reinforced concrete structures is the application of FRP (Fiber Reinforce Plastic) sheets to increase the flexural and shear strengths of the member. The elastic modulus of FRP is considerably higher than that of concrete. This will result in debonding between the FRP sheets and concrete surface. With conventional surface preparation of concrete, the ultimate capacity of the FRP sheets can hardly be achieved. New methods for preparation of the bonding surface have shown improvements in reducing the premature debonding of FRP sheets from concrete surface. The present experimental study focuses on the application of grooving method to postpone debonding of the FRP sheets attached to the side faces of concrete beams for shear strengthening. Comparison has also been made with conventional surface preparation method. This study clearly shows the efficiency of grooving method compared to surface preparation method, in preventing the debonding phenomenon and in increasing the load carrying capacity of FRP.