The purpose of this paper is to investigate the through-thickness stresses of woven glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) composite laminates under combined tensile and shear loading. Tensile tests were carried out with cross specimens at room temperature under various stacking angles, and the through-thickness strength properties of the woven GFRP laminates were evaluated. The failure characteristics of the woven GFRP laminates were also studied by optical microscopy observations. A three-dimensional finite element analysis (FEA) was carried out to calculate the stress distributions in the cross specimens, and the failure conditions of the specimens were examined. The numerically determined interlaminar tensile and shear stresses at failure location were consistent with Hoffman and Mohr-Coulomb failure criteria when the stacking angle was relatively small. This work is the first attempt to quantify the relation between interlaminar tensile and shear strengths of GFRP composite laminates under tensile and shear loading simultaneously using a combined numerical and experimental approach. A method based on finite element stress analysis was developed for estimating the through-thickness strength of the composite laminates using the experimentally determined fracture load and location. The results suggest that the through-thickness strength under combined tensile and shear loading can be determined effectively by this approach for relatively small stacking angles.
- Finite element analysis
- Glass fiber reinforced polymer
- Interfacial strength
- Mechanical testing