Widespread usage of composites in the advanced technologies, has led to the study of the failure modes by which these composites fail, as identification and hence the interpretation of these characteristic fracture features is necessary to provide valuable information in understanding of the failure behavior of composites. Hence, in this paper, our effort has been in the study of the fractographic features in the carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite laminates under compression loading. Microscopic study with the aid of scanning electron microscope (SEM) has been performed on failed composite fracture surfaces to identify the principal features due to compression loading. This research has led to the knowledge of the nature and origin of fracture, as well as understanding of how the fracture occurs, with an insight into the various characteristic features and its effect of these on the failure modes with the definition of overall crack propagation direction in case of compression loaded CFRP laminates. Also, a model explaining the damage zone leading to kink band formation has been discussed.
Key words: CFRP, compression loading, fractography, SEM, damage zone model, kinking.
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