Comparison of Interphase Models for a Crack in Fiber Reinforced Composite

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The influence of a nonhomogeneous interphase on fracture mechanics of a fiber reinforced composite is studied. The stress intensity factor at the crack tips, maximum interfacial shear and normal stresses, maximum cleavage stress in the matrix and load diffusion along the length of the fiber are studied as a function of the fiber width, the interphase thickness, and the relative stiffness properties of the fiber, the matrix and the interphase. The normal stresses at the interface, which represents the possibility of debonding of the interface, is lowest for interphase thicknesses of the order of one-tenth of the fiber-diameter, when the crack is in the stiffer material. These normal stresses are highest at such interphase thicknesses if the crack is in the less stiffer material. The results obtained by using the nonhomogeneous interphase model are also compared with five other interphase models used in the literature for the interphase, namely the perfect, the homogeneous, the distributed uncoupled shear and normal springs, and the distributed shear springs. It is found that the trends of the above parameters as a function of interphase thicknesses are different for the spring and continuum models, if the crack is in a stiffer material.

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Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics, v. 17, issue 2, p. 133-147