The fatigue of carbon fibre reinforced plastics - A review

Parvez Alam*, Dimitrios Mamalis, Colin Robert, Christophe Floreani, Conchúr M. Ó Brádaigh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Engineering structures are often subjected to the conditions of cyclic-loading, which onsets material fatigue, detrimentally affecting the service-life and damage tolerance of components and joints. Carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) are high-strength, low-weight composites that are gaining ubiquity in place of metals and glass fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP) not only due to their outstanding strength-to-weight properties, but also because carbon fibres are relatively inert to environmental degradation and thus show potential as corrosion resistant materials. The effects of cyclic loading on the fatigue of CFRP are detailed in several papers. As such, collating research on CFRP fatigue into a single document is a worthwhile exercise, as it will benefit the engineering-readership interested in designing fatigue resistant structures and components using CFRP. This review article aims to provide the most relevant and up-to-date information on the fatigue of CFRP. The review focuses in particular on defining fatigue and the mechanics of cyclically-loaded composites, elucidating the fatigue response and fatigue properties of CFRP in different forms, discussing the importance of environmental factors on the fatigue performance and service-life, and summarising the different approaches taken to modelling fatigue in CFRP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-579
Number of pages25
JournalComposites part b-Engineering
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Carbon fibre
  • Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • Mechanical properties
  • Fatigue


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