Matrix cracks around fibre breaks and their effect on stress redistribution and failure development in unidirectional composites

Yentl Swolfs*, Robert M. McMeeking, Ignaas Verpoest, Larissa Gorbatikh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the crucial significance of failure prediction in composites, such an objective remains challenging, even in unidirectional (UD) systems. A strength model for UD composites was used that has great versatility in handling various matrix and fibre behaviours. This model includes a simplified superposition principle that was found to be reliable in predicting stress concentration factors irrespective of the presence of matrix cracks. The model revealed the negligible influence of matrix cracks on stress concentrations, ineffective length, cluster development and failure strain. The presence of matrix cracks can therefore be safely neglected in models for UD composites. This information is important for experimental validations and for advancing the state of the art in strength models for UD composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Early online date9 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2015



  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Matrix cracking
  • C. Probabilistic methods
  • C. Stress concentrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Ceramics and Composites

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