Transverse crack formation in unidirectional composites by linking of fibre/matrix debond cracks Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 Plausible mechanisms of transverse crack formation in unidirectional (UD) composites under applied tension normal to fibres are investigated numerically using a finite element model. Two initial scenarios are considered: Scenario 1 where a pre-existing single fibre/matrix debond crack kinks out into the matrix and induces fibre/matrix debonding at neighbouring fibres, and Scenario 2 where multiple pre-existing debond cracks link up by the debond growth and crack kink-out process. The 2-D finite element model consists of a circular region of matrix with a central fibre surrounded by six fibres in a hexagonal pattern. The region is embedded in a homogenized UD composite of rectangular outer boundary. Energy release rates (ERRs) of interface cracks and kinked-out cracks are calculated under applied tension normal to fibres. Results show that Scenario 2 is more likely to lead to formation of a transverse crack than Scenario 1. These results provide understanding of the roles of fibre clustering and fibre volume fraction on transverse crack formation in composites.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zhuang, L., Talreja, R., & Varna, J.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Zhuang, Linqi||Talreja, Ramesh||Varna, Janis

publication date

  • January 2018