The Transverse Crack Tension test revisited: An experimental and numerical study

T. Scalici, G. Pitarresi, G. Catalanotti*, F. P. van der Meer, A. Valenza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Several problems arise when measuring the mode II interlaminar fracture toughness using a Transverse Crack Tension specimen; in particular, the fracture toughness depends on the geometry of the specimen and cannot be considered a material parameter. A preliminary experimental campaign was conducted on TCTs of different sizes but no fracture toughness was measured because the TCTs failed in an unacceptable way, invalidating the tests. A comprehensive numerical and experimental investigation is conducted to identify the main causes of this behaviour and a modification of the geometry of the specimen is proposed. It is believed that the obtained results represent a significant contribution in the understanding of the TCT test as a mode II characterization procedure and, at the same time, provide new guidelines to characterize the mode II crack propagation under tensile loads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-159
Number of pages16
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016


  • Delamination
  • Experimental methods
  • Fracture toughness
  • Numerical analysis


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