Size effects in short fibre reinforced composites


The present paper is concerned with the analysis of size effects in short fibre reinforced composites. The microstructure of such composites often represents the first hierarchy level of a bioinspired material. For modelling fibre cracking as well as debonding between fibre and matrix material, a fully three-dimensional cohesive zone model is applied. It is shown that this model indeed captures the size effect associated with material failure of a single fibre. Furthermore, this scaling effect strongly depends on the shape and orientation of the assumed pre-existing crack. For this reason, a two-dimensional description can usually only predict the size effect qualitatively. Based on the aforementioned findings, a representative volume element (RVE) containing ceramic fibres embedded within a polymer matrix is considered. Similar to the single fibre, the RVE also shows a pronounced size effect. However, the underlying physical process is significantly more complex. More explicitly, the size effect of the RVE is a superposition of that related to the isolated fibres as well as of that induced by debonding of the fibres from the matrix material. For estimating the different effects, a perfect bond is also modelled.
QR Code: Link to publication