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RESEARCH PAPERS

Effect of Cryogenic Temperature on the Fracture Toughness of Graphite/Epoxy Composites

[+] Author and Article Information
S. G. Kalarikkal, P. G. Ifju

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, P.O. Box 116250, Gainesville, FL 32611-6250

B. V. Sankar

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, P.O. Box 116250, Gainesville, FL 32611-6250sankar@ufl.edu

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 128(2), 151-157 (Oct 25, 2005) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2172274 History: Received January 20, 2005; Revised October 25, 2005

The research presented in this paper is an effort to better understand the interlaminar fracture behavior of graphite/epoxy composite laminates in cryogenic conditions. Double cantilever beam tests were performed on different types of specimens, at room and cryogenic temperatures, and the fracture toughness was calculated from their load-displacement diagram. Additionally, the fracture toughness of some plain-weave textile composite specimens and specimens treated with nanoparticles (38nmAl2O3) were also measured. It was observed that all specimens, with the exception of woven composites, showed deterioration in fracture toughness at the liquid nitrogen temperature. Nanoparticle treated specimens showed an improvement in fracture toughness, both at room and cryogenic temperatures compared to the control specimens. The woven composite specimens showed an increase in fracture toughness at cryogenic temperature. The results indicate that woven fiber composites may have potential in lightweight cryogenic storage systems.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 3

Typical room temperature DCB test load-displacement diagram

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Figure 2

DCB test load-displacement diagram

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Figure 6

Comparison of GIc for various laminates

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Figure 4

Typical cryogenic temperature DCB test load-displacement diagram

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Figure 5

SEM image of 20% nanotreated specimen crack surface

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Figure 1

DCB specimen with the loading blocks attached

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Figure 7

SEM image showing 0D0 specimen crack surface

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Figure 8

SEM image showing 90D90 specimen crack surface

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Figure 9

SEM image showing 9% nanotreated specimen crack surface

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Figure 10

SEM image showing TEX specimen crack surface

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