High strain rate testing of a unidirectionally reinforced graphite epoxy composite
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Since accurate, reproducible methods of testing polymer composites are not very well developed or standardized, this research forms part of a program to gain a better understanding of the mechanical properties and failure mechanisms of polymer composites at high strain rates. Since failure modes differ markedly depending on fiber architecture, orientation, fiber/matrix combination and so forth, these initial tests were carried out using a simple unidirectionally reinforced composite. Beginning with testing in the longitudinal and transverse directions, reported here, future experiments are being carried out to determine how the high strain rate properties vary with angle of testing, and then move on to other simple fiber lay-ups, ±90◦, ±45◦, etc.