Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Jeff T. Wood


Design of continuous fiber-polymer composite components with optimized and predictable energy dissipation requires a failure criterion able to predict the fracture energy of CFP composites for all mixed-mode loading conditions. Existing mixed-mode failure criteria are empirical and show poor correlation for a range of CFP composites. Therefore, a universally applicable criterion based on constituent material properties and operative failure mechanisms is required. A novel mechanistic failure criterion for CFP composites is proposed. The criterion considers resin fracture strength, hackle formation, interfacial debonding, the crack tip plastic zone and interply vs interyarn delamination. Experimental data obtained by mixed-mode testing of continuous fiber-polymer composites and evaluation of the properties of the associated polymer and reinforcement is used to support the criterion.