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Journal of Composite

Materials
http://jcm.sagepub.com/

Local Stress Concentrations in Imperfect Filamentary Composite


Materials
John M. Hedgepeth and Peter Van Dyke
Journal of Composite Materials 1967 1: 294
DOI: 10.1177/002199836700100305
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Local Stress Concentrations in

Filamentary Composite
JOHN M.

HEDGEPETH

Martin Marietta

AND

Imperfect

Materials

PETER VAN DYKE

, Maryland
, Baltimore
Corporation

Solutions are presented for two stress distribution problems


which result from breaking of the filaments in a composite material
composed of high modulus elements embedded in a low modulus
matrix. Both problems represent extensions of the two-dimensional filamentary structure stress concentration problem: the first
concerns the determination of static stress concentration factors in
the unbroken elements of a three-dimensional square or hexagonal
array where specified filaments are broken; the second involves the
stress concentration factor in the element adjacent to a broken
filament in a two-dimensional array where the shear stress in the
matrix adjacent to the broken filament is restricted by a limit stress
in

an

ideally plastic sense.

INTRODUCTION
STRUCTURES fabricated from

S in

composite

materials made from

matrix

which filaments are wound, woven,


becoming prevaplied
lent in aerospace applications. Solid-propellant rocket-motor cases, for
instance, are being constructed by winding resin-coated glass filaments on
a mandrel. The
high-strength glass filaments carry the pressurization
loads and the resin forms the matrix which produces a unified, efficient
material. Other applications make use of the good foldability of coated
fabrics to package large, low-density structures into small volumes until
their erection by mechanical means or inflation is desired.
Whenever one or more fibers is broken in a filamentary structure
under stress, the load in the broken fiber or fibers must be transferred
through the matrix to the adjacent elements in order to restore equilibrium ; to ensure a rational design using composite materials, the local
stress concentrations created by this redistribution must be understood.
A filamentary structure stress concentration problem in two dimensions (a plane of filaments) has been formulated and solved by Hedgepethlll. This original problem considered the effects of a number of
consecutively broken filaments in the planar array on the stress concentrations in the elements adjacent to the last of the broken filaments.
or

are

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Results for both static and dynamic stress concentrations under a uniform tensile loading were obtained. The investigation was limited, however, to the two-dimensional problem, and by the assumption that both
the filaments and matrix behave elastically.
The present paper describes extensions of these first results which include the effects of three dimensions and plasticity. The influence-function technique introduced in Reference 1 is used to obtain results for
the following two additional problems concerning filamentary material
under uniform tensile loading: first, static stress concentration factors
are found in unbroken elements in a three-dimensional square or hexagonal array of elements, where specified filaments are broken; secondly,
the static stress concentration factor is found in the element adjacent to
a broken filament in a two-dimensional array, where the shear stress in
the matrix adjacent to the broken filament is restricted by a limit stress
for an ideally plastic material.
FORMULATION OF THE THREE-DIMENSIONAL PROBLEMS
The model which is considered is common to shear-lag
it
is composed of tension-carrying elements connected by a matrix which
carries only shear. The first problems to be considered involve a threedimensional model where the elements are all oriented in a uni-direc-

analyses;

tional

manner

square and

and

are

hexagonal

distributed evenly throughout the material. Both


filament distributions will be considered.

Square Array:
The square array of filaments is shown in Figure la; the elements
spaced an equal distance d apart, and are aligned in the x direction.
The displacement of the ( n, m ) th element, with n and m in the plane
normal to the filaments, is given by Un, m(x); the tensile force in this
element is Pn, m ( x ), and is related to Un, ,n by
are

where EA is the extensional stiffness of the filaments.

Figure 1(a). Three dimensional element, square array.

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The interactions among the elements in the array are complex in


nature, and as a first approximation it is assumed that the behavior of a
given element is influenced only by its nearest neighbors. The shear
force per unit length between the ( n, rn ) th and (n + 1, m)th filament
is thus assumed to be
where Gh is the effective matrix shear stiffness. The equilibrium equatreating the ( n, m ) th element and its neighbors is then

tion

The boundary conditions


element

are

given by observing

that for

broken

while for all other elements

values of x, the tensile loads in all elements, whether or not


broken, approaches the uniform tensile load P, and so the rethey
maining boundary conditions are
For

large
are

Non-dimensionalization of the load, displacement, and coordinates is


carried out by defining the dimensionless quantities

The

equilibrium equation (3)

then becomes

with

and the

boundary conditions

Because of the existence of the mixed

boundary conditions at ~ 0,
technique introduced in
Reference 1. After imposing a unit displacement on the filament n = m
0, and maintaining a zero displacement at 1 0 in all other elements,
the element forces and displacements are represented by qn, ~, ( ~ ) and
it is convenient to
-

use

the influence-function

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vn, &dquo;t ( ~ ) .

These influence functions

are

superimposed to

obtain the actual

problem by

where the summations are extended only over the broken elements since
the displacements vanish at ~ = 0 in unbroken elements; the subscripts i
and j represent broken elements in the n and m directions. The force
boundary condition then gives the required equations for the unknowns

Ui, J( 0)

with the number of equations and unknowns being equal to the number
of broken elements.
The determination of the influence functions qn, In is carried out by
solution of Eq. (8) with Vn, In replacing ic,z, 7rL under the boundary conditions

Applying the transformation

whose inverse is

transforms the

with

equation

for the influence-function

displacements

to

boundary conditions

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The solution to

(16)

Eq. (15) satisfying

the

boundary

conditions of

Eq.

is

with the

angles /3 and y given by

The inversion may be written

Once the

required v,~, &dquo;,

are

as

determined, the qn, In

are

determined from

Eq. ( 12 ) to find the required uL, ~ ( 0 ) . These are


through Eq. (11), with the summations over only broken
elements, to obtain the complete solution. When only the stress concentrations at 1
0 are to be obtained, the values of q,L, &dquo;z ( ~ ) must be determined. These are given by
and the qn,rn

are

used in

in turn used

integration required by the inversion was carried out


integration procedure on a small, high-speed
using simple
digital computer. Although the first integration necessary for the solu0 may be put in the form of an elliptic integral
tion of Eq. (21) for n
of the second kind, a numerical integration provided the generality reThe double

numerical

quired for all n values, and was easily combined with the required second
integration to form a single integration procedure. Separate computer
programs were used to obtain the required influence-function solutions
and then to

use

these solutions to calculate stress concentrations for par-

ticular broken filament

configurations.

Hexagonal Array:
The hexagonal array of elements is shown in Figure Ib, but the coordinates along which the subscripts n and m denote elements are now
at a 60 degree angle, thus reflecting the new symmetry of the problem.
The only variation from the square array problem is in the equilibrium
equation of the ( n, m ) tla element, which becomes
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Figure 1(b). Three dimensional element, hexagonal array.

Applying the influence-function approach


qn, m ( 0 )

leads to the inversion

for the

integral

Evaluation of the required integrals was again made employing numerical integration procedures. The symmetry of the element array was then
used in the solution of particular problems using the influence-function
formulation.
RESULTS FOR THE THREE-DIMENSIONAL PROBLEMS
Stress concentrations have been calculated in unbroken elements
when various numbers of filaments are broken in square and hexagonal
filament arrays. An automated procedure was developed to combine the
influence coefficients, solve the simultaneous equations for the quantities
un,~,(0), and then obtain the required stress concentrations. As a check
on the three-dimensional calculations, straight rows of filaments were
broken in both arrays and the stress concentrations at the row adjacent
to the last broken row were obtained. In both the square and hexagonal
array cases the stress concentrations at the centers of the adjacent rows
approached the known two-dimensional results for the index representing the number of broken rows.
Solutions for various configurations of broken filaments were then
obtained. In particular, for the square element array, the filaments were
broken in such a way as to form circular regions, and the stress
concentrations in the element on the major diameter adjacent to the
broken filaments was calculated. The way in which the broken filaments
were chosen is shown in
Figure 2; the number N represents the number
of broken filaments on the major diameter, and all of the filaments M
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Figure

2. Broken element configura-

tions, square array.

within a circle of diameter Nd were broken. The results for values of N


from 1 to 7 are given in Table I. The ratio of the three-dimensional con-

corresponding two-dimensional result, X, was calculated,


and the values of x for increasing N are shown in Figure 3.
The pattern of broken elements required to fill the circular area of
diameter Nd changes with each increase in the parameter N. For the
case where N is 2, the number of broken filaments is 2, and the stress
concentration factor is comparatively low as compared with the case
where N is three and there are 9 broken filaments. This variation in the
number of broken filaments accounts for the scatter in the results for A
at small values of N.
The solution to the continuous problem of the stress concentration

centration to the

Table I. Square Array Stress Concentration Factors


Circular Broken Filament Configuration.

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Figure 3. Ratio

of concentration

factors, square array.

the edge of a disk-shaped void in a three-dimensional body composed of elements and joining matrix under a uniform tensile loading
may be obtained by considering the analogous problem of the flow of
a perfect fluid around a disk~2~. The solution for the stress concentration
as the edge of the void is approached is (2/~(f―~))~ with r the
dimensionless radial coordinate from the center of the unit radius void
in its plane. For the two-dimensional problem of a crack in a sheet,
the stress concentration as the edge of the crack is approached is
( 1 /2 ( y -1 ) ) 1i~ with y the coordinate from the center along the crack
of length 2. The ratio of the three-dimensional to two-dimensional continuous solutions is 2/7r, and is shown in Figure 3 as the apparent limit
of x as N becomes large.
For the square array case, a square broken filament configuration was
also investigated. The results, for N from 1 to 6, are presented in Table
II.

near

Table II. Square Array Stress Concentration Factors


Square Broken Filament Configuration.

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Figure

4. Broken element

configuration, hexagonal

array.

The broken filaments in the hexagonal array are shown in Figure 4;


represents the number of filaments on the major diagonal of a hexagonshaped array of broken elements. Stress concentrations were obtained
for both the element adjacent to the broken group on the major diagonal,
and also for the element in the hexagonal ring of elements surrounding
the broken filaments whose stress concentration is greatest. These results are summarized in Table III.
N

Table III. Hexagonal Array Stress Concentration Factors


Hexagonal Broken Filament Configuration.

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Figure

5. Ratio of concentration factors,

hexagonal

array.

Two curves of the ratio x for these two elements as N increases are
shown in Figure 5. The curve of maximum stress concentration is well
above the apparent continuous x limit, while the diagonal element ratio
is below this limit. Had the hexagonal array elements been broken in
such a way as to approximate a circular area, as was done with the
square array, the concentration ratio x would approach the 2/7r continuous limit.

FORMULATION OF THE PLASTICITY PROBLEM


The two-dimensional filament model considers a single layer of
evenly spaced elements. In the problem treated by Reference 1, the
elements and the matrix connecting the elements are assumed to behave
elastically. The possibility that the shearing stress in the low modulus
matrix material will exceed a maximum elastic stress can be accounted
for by formulating a model in which the matrix material acts in an ideally
plastic manner. The shear stress may increase elastically to a limit plastic
stress value T, after which the stress remains constant with increased
displacement of the bounding filaments. The configuration for this twodimensional plasticity problem is shown in Figure 6. The limit shear
force per unit width Th is present in the region between the broken element n = 0 and its neighbors n = I. The region in which this stress
exists, a, extends in both the positive and negative x directions. The
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Figure

6.

Plasticity problem configu-

ration.

stress concentration

which is

to

be found is in the elements n = 1

at

x==0.

The nondimensionalizations represented by Eq. (7) are used to define dimensionless forms of the limit shear force per unit width Th and

plastic region a
governing elements beyond those which bound

The equilibrium equation


the limit shear region is

For the element n

1, the

The symmetry about n


holds for element n =

=
-

equilibrium condition is

0 implies that un = u_ n, and the same equation


l. The equilibrium equation for the n = 0 ele-

ment is

Defining the function f ( ~ )

as

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and employing the single-dimensional


fined by Eq. (14) yields the equation

for the influence function

of the transform de-

displacement quantity, with

The boundary conditions are, at ~

and, at ~

equivalent

0,

oc

The differential equation ( 29 ) holds only in the region where ~ < a,


where f ( ~ ) is a positive quantity. At the boundary 6 = a, the function
f ( ~ ) is zero, and for ~ > a the right hand side of Eq. (29) vanishes. The
particular solution to Eq. (29) is

The

complementary function solutions are in the form

Applying the boundary conditions, Eq. (31),


the boundary 4
a yields

at

and

matching the functions

with

Employing

the inverse

transform, given by the single-dimensional

form

of Eq. (14), yields

Defining the integral functions

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allows un to be written

Solving for f ( ~ ), using Eq. (28), yields

where the

angle qf is 0/2, 8 is 2 sin ~, and

After the integral equation (38) is solved for f ( ~ ), the stress concentration in the element n = 1 is found by finding the influence-function forces qn from

with vn found from Eq. (37). For the single broken filament application
of the influence-function technique, the single unknown displacement
is

( see Eq. ( 12 ) )

and

so

the force in the first element is

(see Eq. ( 11 ) )

The solution to the integral equation is carried out using a numerical


procedure (see Reference 3); the extent of the plastic region a is assumed, and the plastic shear T is found after employing the restriction
that t ( ~ ) vanish at ~ = a. During the course of the calculations it was
found that a change of variable of the form

with k

equal to 10 increased the range of the variable a for which results


could be obtained using the single, uniform-mesh, numerical solution

technique.
RESULTS FOR THE PLASTICITY PROBLEM

The numerical solution to the integral equation, carried out by assuming the extent of the plastic region and then obtaining the limit shear
T and the function
f( g), allows the determination of the stress concentration in the element adjacent to the broken filament. Figures 7 shows
the results of the numerical evaluation for the constant limit shear stress
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Figure 7. Limit shear stress for increased load factor.

Figure 8. Extent of plastic region for


increased load factor.

Figure 9. Stress concentrations for increased load factor.

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region between the broken filament and its immediate neighbors


function of the limit load factor. This load factor is defined as the
ratio of the load at infinity to the load at infinity required to raise the
shear stress to only the limit value. The shear stress T decreases rapidly
from its initial value of one as the load factor is increased. The extent
of the plastic region as the load factor is increased is shown in Figure 8;
the curve is almost linear, with a slightly increasing slope with increased
load factor.
The stress concentration factor as a function of load factor is shown
in Figure 9. The stress concentration initially drops quickly with increased load factor, but then begins to level off at higher load values.

in the
as a

CONCLUSIONS

The problems that have been treated here are a small segment of the
many stress concentration problems whose formulation could be based
on the two-dimensional plastic and three-dimensional elastic models. For
example, the two-dimensional plastic model can be used as a basis for
the solution of problems where more than one filament is broken. It also
provides a framework for the formulation and solution of problems involving different physical situations; for example, the case where the
bond between filament and matrix is the factor which limits the allowable matrix shear stress can be treated by a small modification to the

governing integral equation.


The three-dimensional model used to obtain the elastic stress conwas based on a &dquo;nearest neighbor&dquo; approximation. The accuracy of this approximation can be determined by also considering the
&dquo;next nearest&dquo; neighbors surrounding the broken filament when determining the governing equilibrium equation. Plastic matrix influence
coefficients can also be determined for the three-dimensional model, thus
leading to solutions of three-dimensional single and multiple broken
filament plasticity problems.
Definition of macroscopic failure criteria in a statistical sense should
be possible with the stress field definitions provided by the two-dimensional results of Reference 1 and the additional results presented in this
paper. In addition to the extensions, mentioned above, to the existing
results, combination of these results through statistical analysis to obtain
overall structural failure estimates would seem to be an area deserving
of continued efforts.
centrations

308
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NOMENCLATURE
a

Bn, Cn, B, C

EA

Length of plastic region in matrix


Integral functions, Eqs. (36), (39)

Filament spacing
Extensional stiffness of a filament
=
Plasticity solution function, Eq. (28)
= Effective matrix shear stiffness
= Kernel function, Eq. (34)
= Total number of broken filaments in

f
Gh
K
M

broken filament

con-

figuration

Th

= Number of filaments on major diameter, diagonal, or side of a


broken filament configuration
= Applied force on each filament at infinity
= Force in (n, m) th filament
= Dimensionless load in (n, m ) th filament, Eq. (7)
= Dimensionless load in (n, m ) th filament for influence-function
solution
= Alternate dummy variable, Eq. (43)
= Limit shear force per unit width for ideally plastic matrix

= Dummy variable, Eq. (34)

N
p

P n In
pn, &dquo;,,
g,t, &dquo;L

Un,

,n

un, In
vn, &dquo;~

Displacement in (n, m ) th filament


Dimensionless displacement in (n, m ) th filament, Eq. (7)
Dimensionless displacement in (n, m ) th filament for influence-

function solution, Eq. (7)


Transformed dimensionless displacement, Eq. (14)
= Coordinate
parallel to filaments
= Dimensionless
length of plastic region, Eq. (24)
=
Angle defined in Eq. (18)
=
Angle defined in Eq. (18)
=
Trigonometric function defined in Eq. (30)
= Alternate coordinate
variable, Eq. (43)
= Transform variable
= Ratio of three-dimensional to two-dimensional stress

x
a

~
y

1
0
x

concen-

tration

(~
If

i, j, n,

In

Dimensionless coordinate parallel to filaments, Eq. (7)


Dimensionless limit shear force per unit length, Eq. (24)
Transform variable

Angle equal to 9/2

Indices

REFERENCES
1.

J.

M.

Hedgepeth, "Stress Concentrations


Langley Research Center (1961).

D-882,

2. P. Morse and H.

(1953), p. 1293.

Filamentary Structures,"

NASA TN

, McGraw-Hill
Feshbach, Methods of Theoretical Physics II

Collatz, The Numerical


( 1960), Chap. VI.

3. L.

in

Treatment

of Differential Equations
, Springer-Verlag

received June 7, 1967


(
)

309