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Fracture mechanics characterization of polymer composites for aerospace applications

A.J. Brunner     Empa, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract

Fibre-reinforced polymer-matrix composites find increasing use in high-performance aerospace structures and elements due to their light weight and the related high specific strength and stiffness. Over the last 20–30 years, fracture mechanics test method development for these materials has yielded several standards, and additional standard procedures are in preparation. The current status of standardization and development is briefly reviewed, and the applicability of fracture mechanics data for composites design and other uses in aerospace is discussed. Major issues are laminate layup, fatigue behaviour and ...

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