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In-Depth Analysis of the High Strain Rate Compressive Behavior of RTM6 Epoxy Using Digital Image Correlation

  • elmahdy;, ahmed
Publication Date
Apr 27, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/polym14091771
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The aim of this paper is to study the effect of strain rate on the compressive behavior of the highly cross-linked RTM6 epoxy resin used in advanced aerospace composites. Dynamic compression tests were performed using a split Hopkinson pressure bar, along with reference quasi-static compression tests, to cover a strain rate range from 0.001 to 1035 s−1. Special attention was paid to the optimization of the test methodologies in order to obtain material data free of bias related to the use of different load introduction techniques and sample geometries over the considered strain rate range. In addition, the use of full-field 3D deformation measurements allowed the validation of traditional test and material assumptions. A novel self-alignment tool was developed to enable perfect interfacial contact during compression loading. The 3D digital image correlation technique was used to measure the instantaneous deformation of the sample during compression at different strain rates. Results showed a pronounced strain rate sensitivity of the RTM6 epoxy in compression. The peak yield strength increased with increasing strain rate, while the elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio in compression were independent of the strain rate. The barreling of the sample in compression, quantified by the barreling ratio, showed an increase during the progression of the compression tests. However, the barreling ratio significantly decreased with the increasing strain rate. Finally, it was shown that neglecting the significant volume change in the yield stages gave rise to a non-negligible underestimation of the strength of the material.

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