Analysis of Stochastic Matrix Crack Evolution in CFRP Cross-Ply Laminates under Fatigue Loading

Xi Li*, Rinze Benedictus, Dimitrios Zarouchas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The present work aims at understanding the stochastic matrix crack evolution in CFRP cross-ply laminates under tension–tension fatigue loading. An experimental campaign was carried out on twenty-three specimens at different stress levels, while two optical techniques were used for the in-situ monitoring of the accumulation of transverse matrix cracks. The results showed a significant scatter in crack evolution among specimens. This stochastic behaviour was further investigated using image analysis and numerical modelling. It was found that transverse matrix cracks can be classified into the independent and dependent cracks based on a critical crack spacing. Furthermore, the severity of interaction among cracks was quantified by introducing a dependent crack ratio. Finally, a strength-based probabilistic model was proposed to describe the scattering regime of the crack evolution. The agreement between model and test results indicates that local strength variations of 90 plies are the dominant scattering source governing the initial fatigue resistance to cracking and determining the accumulation of transverse matrix cracks among specimens. These results may provide a new insight into the stochastic nature of matrix cracking in composite laminates and aid in the design of fatigue resistance properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107277
JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Composite laminates
  • Fatigue
  • In-situ damage monitoring
  • Phenomenological model


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