Two types of unidirectional carbon fibre, one of high strength (DHMS) and another of medium strength (VLMS) reinforced vinylester resin composites have been examined for their impact fatigue behaviour over 104 impact cycles for the first time. The study was conducted using a pendulum type repeated impact apparatus specially designed and constructed for the purpose. A well-defined impact fatigue behaviour (S–N type curve) curve has been demonstrated. It showed a plateau region of 10–102 cycles immediately below the single cycle impact strength, followed by progressive endurance with decreasing impact loads, culminating in an endurance limit at about 71% and 85% of the single impact strength for DHMS-48 and VLMS-48, respectively. Analysis of the fractured surfaces revealed primary debonding, fibre breakage and pull-out at the tensile zone of the samples and a shear mode of fracture with breakage of fibre bundles at the compressive zone of the samples. The occurrence of a few major macrocracks in the matrix with fibre breakage at the high load–low endurance region and development of multiple microcracks in the matrix, coalescing and fibre breakage at the low-load–high endurance region have been inferred to explain the fatigue behaviour of the composites examined.
Volume 42 | Issue 3