Planar delamination behaviour of CFRP panels under quasi-static out-of-plane loading

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In this study, a novel experimental approach was devised to investigate shear dominant and combined opening-shear planar delamination behaviours in composite laminates subjected to quasi-static out-of-plane loading. The patterns of planar delamination growth were depicted through different inspection techniques, including digital image correlation (DIC), C-scan, and microscopic observation. The artificially embedded delamination propagated in the direction parallel to the fibre orientation of the layer above the mid interface, but migrated to an upper interface in the direction transverse to the directing ply. A continuous stiffening process was recognized with increasing delamination area. Furthermore, a numerical analysis based on virtual crack closure technique (VCCT) indicated that the local mode II was dominant for delamination growth, while the local mode III triggered delamination migration.