Hygrothermal effects on fatigue delamination behavior in composite laminates

Liaojun Yao*, Jiexiong Wang, Yonglyu He, Xiuhui Zhao, Xiangming Chen, Jurui Liu, Licheng Guo, R. C. Alderliesten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Fatigue delamination growth (FDG) is an important failure in composite structures during their long-term operations. Hygrothermal aging can have significant effects on interlaminar resistance. It is therefore really necessary to explore FDG behavior in composite laminates with hygrothermal aging. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), mode I FDG experiments and fractographic examinations were conducted to fully investigate hygrothermal aging effects and the corresponding mechanisms on FDG behavior. The DMTA results indicated that environmental aging can induce obvious Tg decrease. Mode I experimental fatigue data interpreted via different Paris-type correlations demonstrated that: Bridging has obvious retardation effects on FDG behavior via the Paris interpretations; The modified Paris relation can well characterize the intrinsic FDG behavior around the crack front; The use of the two-parameter Paris-type relation can appropriately account for R-ratio effects, contributing to a master resistance curve in determining mode I FDG behavior. According to these interpretations, it can be concluded that hygrothermal aging can have adverse effects on mode I FDG behavior. SEM examinations demonstrated that moisture absorption can cause fibre/matrix debonding and resin matrix pores/voids in the composite. However, no obvious difference in damage mechanisms was identified in mode I fatigue delamination for composite with/without environmental conditioning. Both fibre/matrix debonding and matrix brittle fracture were identified on fatigue fracture surfaces. Accordingly, it was concluded that fibre/matrix interface and matrix degradation induced by water absorption were the main reasons for a faster mode I fatigue crack growth in environmental aged composite.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117830
Number of pages12
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
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.


The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China with Grant No. 12272110 , 11902098 and 12272358 , the Aeronautical Science Foundation of China with Grant No. 2022Z055077004 , the National Key Laboratory of Strength and Structural Integrity Foundation with Grant No. ASSIKFJJ202302003 .


  • Composite laminates
  • Delamination
  • Fatigue
  • Hygrothermal aging


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