Effect of the microstructure on the fracture mode of short-fiber reinforced plastic composites

Masaaki Nishikawa, Tomonaga Okabe, Nobuo Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A numerical simulation was presented to discuss the microscopic damage and its influence on the strength and energy-absorbing capability of short-fiber reinforced plastic composites. The dominant damage includes matrix cracking and/or interfacial debonding, when the fibers are shorter than the critical length for fiber breakage. The simulation addressed the matrix cracking with a continuum damage mechanics model and the interfacial debonding with an embedded process zone (EPZ) model. The fictitious free-edge effects on the fracture modes were successfully eliminated with the periodic- cell simulation. The advantage of our simulation was pointed out by demonstrating that the simulation with edge effects significantly overestimates the dissipative energy of the composites. We then investigated the effect of the material microstructure on the fracture modes in the composites. The simulated results clarified that the inter-fiber distance affects the breaking strain of the compos- ites and the fiber orientation angle affects the positions of the damage initiation. These factors influence the strength and energy-absorbing capability of short fiber-reinforced composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, A Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part A
Issue number751
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar


  • Composite material
  • Finite element method
  • Fracture
  • Micromechanics
  • Short-fiber reinforced plastics
  • Tensile strength


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