High-speed observation of dynamic delamination failure in tapered composite laminates under tensile loading

Bozkurt M. O., Ozen E. B., Yavuz B. O., Parnas K. L., ÇÖKER D.

Polymer Composites, vol.45, no.10, pp.9181-9195, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pc.28402
  • Journal Name: Polymer Composites
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.9181-9195
  • Keywords: composites, delamination, drop-off ply, dynamic fracture, tapered laminates
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


This article presents high-fidelity observations of the time evolution of unstable delamination growth in tapered composite beams under tensile loading via ultra-high-speed camera in conjunction with digital image correlation. Asymmetrically tapered GFRP laminates, with a thickness drop from 18 plies to 12 plies, are manufactured in three different layup configurations with grouped drop-offs: [06/(02)3/06], [06/06/06], and [06/(±45)3/06]. Beam specimens are subjected to quasi-static tensile loading in a servo-hydraulic axial testing machine, and the damage evolution on one edge of the tapered beam is monitored in situ at 124,000 fps with a high-speed camera (HSC). In selected tests, digital image correlation (DIC) analyses are conducted either on the edge or on the tapered surface to obtain the full-field strain and elucidate failure mechanisms. Real-time HSC observations of the damage sequence consistently affirm that the initial failure mechanism is a transverse crack at the nearest drop-off to the thin section, which is followed by delaminations at interfaces of sublaminates. Unstable delamination growth is characterized by measurements of lower bounds of crack tip speeds. The unique crack speed data provide evidence for the existing effect of through-the-thickness stresses on delamination growth. The detailed sequence and patterns of dynamic failure presented in this paper can serve as a benchmark to validate damage models used in simulations of tapered laminates. Highlights: The sequence of unstable delamination growth in tapered GFRP beams is investigated experimentally. Characterized unstable delamination growth based on crack tip speed measurements. Strain fields are evaluated along beam edges using DIC in real-time. In-situ observations of dynamic failure can serve as a benchmark to validate damage models.