Finite Element Modelling of the Single Fibre Composite Fragmentation Test with Comparison to Experiments

Yanmei Cao, Yang Xu, Philip Harrison, Eddie McCarthy, Daniel Mulvihill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper develops a finite element (FE) model of the single fibre fragmentation test designed for direct comparison with experimental results on an E-glass/epoxy system by McCarthy et al. (2015). Interface behaviour is modelled via a cohesive surface, and stochastic Weibull fibre strengths (determined by independent experiments) assigned at random to the elements along the fibre. Predictions from the model agree with experiment for a range of outputs: The evolution of the number of fibre breaks with strain is similar and breaks occur at random locations as required. The model also captures a transition to a Uniform (rather than Weibull) statistical distribution of break locations at later stages of the test consistent with recent experiments. The evolution of the cumulative distribution of fragment lengths is also similar to that of the experiment. In addition, fibre axial stress and interfacial shear stress distributions conform with experimental observation. Correct model predictions of break locations confirm the approach taken on assigning stochastic (Weibull) strengths along the fibre. The effectiveness of the FE model in capturing a number of key aspects of the fragmentation phenomenon suggest its usefulness as a tool in analysing and interpreting fibre fragmentation tests, including back-calculation of interfacial shear strength.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2765-2778
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Issue number17
Early online date22 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • glass fibre reinforced plastics
  • Interface bonding
  • fibre fragmentation
  • Finite element analysis
  • fibre break statistics
  • Interfacial shear strength
  • fibre/matrix bond
  • interfacial strength
  • single fibre fragmentation test
  • finite element analysis
  • Fragmentation


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