Cyclic fatigue fracture of composites: What has testing revealed about the physics of the processes so far?

R. C. Alderliesten*, A. J. Brunner, J. A. Pascoe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Where for metallic materials fatigue fracture testing has contributed significantly to understanding macroscopic and microscopic fatigue failure, the understanding of fatigue fracture in fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) still seems limited. It appears that the research on fatigue in FRPs raises more questions, rather than providing a framework for understanding the underlying mechanisms. Open questions include for example the correct formulation of the driving force and fatigue damage resistance, how to account for mixed mode loading and fibre bridging? But also the question to what extent averaging and homogenising over time- and length scales hinders the understanding in relation to the microscopic mechanisms? To contribute to the development of understanding, this paper discusses several of these open questions. The selected questions were discussed at a recent workshop on ‘Physics of fatigue damage growth’ at TU Delft with participants from several laboratories covering expertise on fatigue fracture testing of both metals and polymer composites. The discussion focuses on potential experimental and simulation approaches that may lead to a better understanding of the physics of the fatigue fracture process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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