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Published March 1, 1990 | public
Journal Article Open

A Mechanical Model for Elastic Fiber Microbuckling


A two-dimensional mechanical model is presented to predict the compressive strength of unidirectional fiber composites using technical beam theory and classical elasticity. First, a single fiber resting on a matrix half-plane is considered. Next, a more elaborate analysis of a uniformly laminated, unidirectional fiber composite half-plane is presented. The model configuration incorporates a free edge which introduces a buckling mode that originates at the free edge and decays into the interior of the half-plane. It is demonstrated that for composites of low volume fraction (<0.3), this decay mode furnishes values of buckling strain that are below the values predicted by the Rosen (1965) model. At a higher volume fraction the buckling mode corresponds to a half wavelength that is in violation of the usual assumptions of beam theory. Causes for deviations of the model prediction from existing experimental results are discussed.

Additional Information

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received by the ASME Applied Mechanics Division, September 12, 1988; final revision, June 6, 1989. This work was supported by NASA Grant No. NSG-1483. The authors are appreciative of this support. The interest and encouragement of Dr. J. H. Starnes, Jr. of NASA-Langley is gratefully acknowledged.


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