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Probability distributions for the strength of fibrous materials under local load sharing I: Two-level failure and edge effects

  • D. Gary Harlow (a1) and S. Leigh Phoenix (a2)

Abstract

The focus of this paper is on obtaining a conservative but tight bound on the probability distribution for the strength of a fibrous material. The model is the chain-of-bundles probability model, and local load sharing is assumed for the fiber elements in each bundle. The bound is based upon the occurrence of two or more adjacent broken fiber elements in a bundle. This event is necessary but not sufficient for failure of the material. The bound is far superior to a simple weakest link bound based upon the failure of the weakest fiber element. For large materials, the upper bound is a Weibull distribution, which is consistent with experimental observations. The upper bound is always conservative, but its tightness depends upon the variability in fiber element strength and the volume of the material. In cases where the volume of material and the variability in fiber strength are both small, the bound is believed to be virtually the same as the true distribution function for material strength. Regarding edge effects on composite strength, only when the number of fibers is very small is a correction necessary to reflect the load-sharing irregularities at the edges of the bundle.

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Corresponding author

Postal address: Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A.
∗∗ Postal address: Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, U.S.A.

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Research supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC02-76-ER04027.

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References

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Keywords

Probability distributions for the strength of fibrous materials under local load sharing I: Two-level failure and edge effects

  • D. Gary Harlow (a1) and S. Leigh Phoenix (a2)

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