Composite strength statistics from fiber strength statistics
Johnson, Eric P.
Wu, Edward M.
Gorman, Michael R.
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Utilization of composites in critical design applications requires an extensive engineering experience data base which is generally lacking, especially for rapidly developing constituent fibers. As a supplement, an accurate reliability theory can be applied in design. This investigation is a part of a research effort to develop a probabilistic model of composite reliability capable of using data produced in small laboratory test samples to predict the behavior of large structures with respect to their actual dimensions. This work included testing of composite strength which was then used in exploring the methodology of predicting composite reliability from the parent single filament fiber strength statistics. This required testing of a coordinate set of test samples which consisted of a composite and its parent fibers. Previously collected fiber strength statistics from two different production spools were used in conjunction with the current effort. This investigation established that, for a well made composite, the Local Load Sharing Model of reliability prediction exhibited outstanding correlation with experimental data and was sufficiently sensitive to predict deficient composite strength due to a specific fiber spool with an abnormally weak lower tail. In addition, it provided an upper bound on the composite reliability. This investigation is unique in that is used a coordinate set of data with an unambiguous genesis of parent fiber and subsequent composite. The findings of this investigation are also definitive in that six orders of extrapolation of size in reliability prediction has been verified.
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