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Kenneth R. Berg

A.l INTRODUCTION material and configuration is selected, a mini-

For a company or institution that is designing mum test program would then be initiated.
composite material structures, or embarking Having a set of typical composite materials
for the first time into the application of has advantages and disadvantages. For exam-
advanced composite materials for structural ple, if one were to design a structure utilizing
purposes, it is imperative that material prop- only typical material properties, without the
erties be available. Of course it would be knowledge of the scatter that may occur in
desirable to have a complete set of statistical those properties, structural failure may occur.
Design Allowables, such as the statistical 'A' Perhaps not immediately, nor on every struc-
values for properties, or even the 'B' values, ture produced, but on an unknown statistical
(see Chapter 33 for detailed definitions of basis, at some point in time. However, prior to
these values and Neal and Spiridgliozzi, 1987). a final design for a structure, the normal engi-
Since complete statistical Design Allowables neering procedure is to initiate the test
are not available, the next sought after mater- program. The purpose of the test program is
ial properties would be 'typical' properties. threefold: one, confirmation of the design;
two, determine the scatter that occurs due to
However 'typical' properties are not defined
variations in materials and the manufacturing
statistically and may be defined in many dif-
process; and three, over a period of time,
ferent ways. Therefore it is important to
either to confirm the material properties data-
discuss typical material properties and also
base being used, or to accumulate test data for
discuss the means to achieve a set of typical
a material properties database.
proper ties.
The purpose of having a complete set of
typical properties is to be able to design com- A.2 TYPICAL PROPERTIES - CONSTITUENTS
posite structures with a minimum of testing
confirmation. Having a complete set of typical A.2.1 FIBERS
properties will allow design optimization, pre-
liminary design, cost and weight optimization One of the problems of determining typical
and other trade-offs with a number of different properties is the variations that occur in the
materials and candidate laminates with differ- materials making up laminates. In the case of
ent fiber orientations. Once an optimum glass fiber, the types of glass fiber and number
of manufacturers is considerably less than
with carbon fiber.
Handbook of Composites.Edited by S.T. Peters. Published However, even with this limitation, there are
in 1998 by Chapman & Hall, London. ISBN 0 412 54020 7 at least two major types of glass fiber, E-glass
1054 Typical properties for advanced composites

and S-2 glass. Withm each of these glasses are Table A.l Typical products from carbon fiber man-
variations in chemical composition, fiber diam- ufacturers (available in USA)
eter, fiber finish, fiber sizing, the number of
A M O C O (Thornel)” Toho Rayon (Besfight)
individual fibers in a tow, roving, yarn, etc.
Manufacturers have different names for the P-100 HTAWlOO
similar type of glass, for example the higher P-75 im600
strength, higher modulus glasses. These fiber T-300 HM35
glasses are the older S-glass (no longer avail- T650/42
Toray (Torayca)
able commercially), s-2 glass and the R-glass T300
by a French manufacturer. Other countries fab- Toho (Celion)
ricate the same type of glass, but with only G30-500 T800H
minor differences in properties. G40-800 M40
For carbon fiber, not only are there the same G40-600 M46J
variations as mentioned above for glass, but in Grafil (Grafil)b AKZO (Fortafil)
addition, there are large variations in strength
34-700 F-5
and modulus and in manufacturers, see Tables 42-650 F-3
A.l and A.2. 42-750
Based on the large number of variations in
fibers, it would be virtually impossible to Hexcel (Magnamite)
obtain complete statistical material properties AS4
for each variation. Even to obtain typical prop- IM6
erties for each variation would not be IM7
To reduce this problem to a practical level, it a Typical product name
is necessary to analyze the usage of glass and Grafil is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd and
carbon fibers (or other fibers). The usage of their fibers are called Grafil or Pyrofil.
advanced composite fibers by ‘pounds used
per dollar expended’, is estimated to be, in
order of highest usage: E-glass, high strength Table A.2 Torayca fiber types (Toray, 1991)
carbon (modulus of 227 GPa, (33 x lo6 psi))
Fiber type Number offilaments
and then S-2 glass. With this list, it is possible
to develop typical properties for composites T300 lK, 3K, 6K, 12K
fabricated from each of these fiber types. An T300J 3K, 6K, 12K
example of the determination of the strength T400H 3K, 6K
T700S 12K
and modulus of the typical high strength car- T800H 6K, 12K
bon fiber is shown in Fig. A.l. The ’typical’ TlOOOG 12K
property becomes: Tensile modulus of 227 GPa TlOOO 12K
(33 x lo6 psi), and tensile strength of 4000 MPa M35J 6K, 12K
(580 ksi). M40J 6K, 12K
M46J 6K, 12K
M50J 6K
M60J 3K, 6K
The matrix for fiber composites can be classi- M30 lK, 3K, 6K, 12K
fied into two categories, metallic and M30SC 18K
non-metallic. This discussion on typical prop- M40 lK, 3K, 6K, 12K
erties involves only non-metallic resin matrix M46 6K
systems. M50 lK, 3K
Typical properties - constituents 1055

Typical Property
Typic.i Prop.rt1.r

Strength 4 GPa
Modulu6 22.0 GPO
Modulus 227 GPa n 20
0 a

g 100
Data horn various Rbsr manufacturers

0 1 2 3 4 5

' EpoxyIAmlne

100 ZOO 300

+ EPoxy/Anhydrld*
bpisal Property

400 500 800


700 800 900 1,000

Strength GPa Strength MPa

Fig. A.l Typical strength and modulus for high Fig. A.2 Typical strength and modulus for E-glass
strength carbon fiber. (Courtesy of Eggs composite - flexural strength. (Courtesy of Riggs
Corporation.) Corporation.)

As was discussed for fibers, only the high environmental considerations. Key among
usage matrix systems in advanced composites these characteristics are: temperature, frac-
are considered as candidates for typical prop- ture toughness, compression after impact,
erties. In addition, for typical properties of crack propagation, humidity, stress concen-
advanced composites for structural applica- trations, interlaminar shear, mechanical
tions, only structural resin systems are fasteners in laminates, holes in laminates,
candidates. Structural resins are defined as creep, damage tolerance and compatibility
resins that have similar modulus and tensile with fiber finish. In determining typical prop-
strength as standard epoxy systems. For exam- erties, these characteristics are not included
ple, an applicable resin for structural but, as applicable, need to be considered for
composites would have a modulus of approx- the final design.
imately 3.5GPa (0.5 x 106psi) and a tensile
strength of approximately 100 MPa (15 h i ) .
The more popular structural resins are
polyester, epoxy, vinyl ester and phenolic. For
typical composite properties, the use of any of
these resins will allow a single typical prop-
erty (Fig. A.2) (CertainTeed Corporation,
cp o o /
A comparison for composites with different L

epoxy sizing from different manufacturers and -

a typical value is shown in Fig. A3.

Figure A.4 shows a number of different
t 300

resin systems and the typical values for * Cellon G30/6-F 1

strength and modulus (Lubin, 1987).This data Herculee AS-4mpe 0 X Hercules AS-4ffreated
is for primarily fiber controlled properties. 0

There are properties in which the resin is

the significant factor. These characteristics are Fig. A.3 Typical compression strength for carbon
associated with stress concentrations and fiber fabric composites. (Courtesy of Riggs
1056 Typical properties for advanced composites

2 70
-2 50
B 30
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Tensile Strength MPa

Fig. A.4 Typical strength and modulus for carbon fiber fabric composites. (Courtesy of Riggs Corporation.)

A.3 TYPICAL PROPERTIES - COMPOSITES ence the transverse strength and modulus of
the base unidirectional laminate (100% 0"
A.3.1 FIBER CONTROLLED TYPICAL plies). The different strength resins shown on
PROPERTIES Fig. A.5, are as follows:
Fiber-reinforced composite materials are pri-
marily used to take advantage of the high Transverse Transverse
modulus tensile strength
strength and stiffness of the fiber. Therefore in
(GPa) (MPaa)
most applications, the laminate orientation is
designed so that the strength and modulus are Lower strength resin 8.6 41.4
controlled by the fiber properties. For example, Typical strength resin 10.0 55.2
Higher strength resin 11.4 69.0
for a typical fiber orientation in a laminate of
0"/&"/90", the 0" plies control the failure of
the laminate whenever the percentage of 0"
Laminate 15% 0",15% f Oo, 70% 9 0
plies is greater than lo%, (with a I3 greater than 700
*loo). For I3 less than do", if the combined per-
centage of 0" and &"plies is greater than lo%,
then the laminate is also controlled by fiber
fracture. These limitations are approximate
and depend on the fiber strength and modulus,
but are valid for carbon, aramid fibers and
glass. For high I3 angles and for 90" laminates,
the tensile strength of the laminate is reduced
0 15 30 46
below the tensile strength of the resin due to
Angle 20'
stress concentrations between the fibers (Berg,
1967). Figure A.5 shows the tensile strength of Fig. A.5 Effect of resin properties on tensile
a carbon fiber laminate of 0"/+eo/9O0 plies, strength of high strength carbon composites.
with the strength of the resin varying to influ- (Courtesy of Riggs Corporation.)
Selecting the use of typical properties

As can be seen in Fig. A.5, the typical fiber A.4 SELECTING THE USE OF TYPICAL
fracture composite properties (ultimate fail- PROPERTIES
ure) are not affected by large variations in the
properties of the resin. However, for resin sen- A.4.1 WHERE TYPICAL PROPERTIESARE
sitive properties, for example, the first ply ACCEPTABLE
failure (limit) of the 90" plies, the resin prop-
The acceptability of material properties in the
erty is influential.
design of structures is based on a number of
For the fiber fracture controlled composites,
factors. If a design is being produced for a cus-
which are the main interest in structures, typi-
tomer, the customer is often the final word on
cal composite material properties are valid
the acceptability of the material properties uti-
over a wide variation in resin characteristics.
lized. An alternate possibility is that the
A.3.2 MATRIX CONTROLLED TYPICAL customer is not interested in accepting or
PROPERTIES rejecting the material properties used, but
would rather accept the product against a
The main interest in structural components is specification. Final acceptance is a qualifica-
the high strength and modulus obtainable tion of the product through testing.
from the fiber reinforcing of the matrix. The third case is where a product is pro-
Therefore in the design of the laminate, for duced by the company itself and sold to the
most of the applications, the resulting failure consumer directly. Of course the consumer
modes are fiber fracture critical. Unfortunately, (public) is not interested in accepting or rejec-
there are cases where the matrix is the critical tion the material properties database. An
element in the failure mode for all laminate example of this is the automobile industry.
orientations. This does not mean that the fiber In the case of a company that subcontracts
does not contribute to reinforcing the matrix in the design and fabrication of composite struc-
both strength and modulus, but only that the tures, the company may either want to review
ultimate failure is the result of failure in the the subcontractor's material properties data-
matrix. base, or be able to review the design of the
Among the cases where the matrix is the subcontractor with the use of the company's
critical failure mode are laminates that are typical properties database.
subjected to shear, the first ply failure (limit In each of the above cases, a typical mater-
load) of a laminate (Fig. A.5, first ply failure ial properties database can be used for cost
curves and Berg, 1982) and most cases of the and weight trade-offs, selection of the best
transverse strength property of a laminate materials, optimizations studies and prelimi-
with no 90" plies. Even for these cases, a typ- nary design.
ical property can be determined utilizing the It is important to note that the final design
typical set of unidirectional properties repre- would always go through an extensive test
sented by most of the epoxy systems in use program to verify the material properties
by the prepreg manufacturers as well as most selected, the final design, the manufacturing
of the structural epoxies sold. A typical set of process and to determine the variability of the
unidirectional properties for high strength product.
carbon composites, for example would be: Thus, a typical material properties database
Strength 0" 90" is acceptable and useful to reduce the cost of
Tension 2100 MPa 55 MPa engineering design, reduce the cost of testing
Compression 1380 MPa 190 MPa and allow a more intelligent and less time con-
In-plane shear 55 MPa suming approach to the final design.
Modulus 138 GPa 9.7 GPa
Shear modulus 6 GPa
1058 Typical properties for advanced composites

A.4.2 WHERE TYPICAL PROPERTIES ARE NOT the composite transformations equations (Tsai,
ACCEPTABLE 1988). A typical property database for all ori-
entations and selected materials is available
In the above discussion, the customer require-
(Berg, 1993), but also a typical composite mate-
ments were mentioned as one of the criteria
rial database could be generated by a
for acceptance or rejection of a material prop-
company using composite engineering analy-
erties database. There are cases where the
sis as discussed above.
customer will insist upon enough testing to
Although this discussion of typical proper-
develop a statistical property database. For
ties has mentioned only static strength and
that requirement the typical material database
modulus, typical properties are also available
would not be acceptable. However in any sta-
for fatigue, CTE and for elevated temperatures
tistical database, the applicability is confined
(Berg, 1993). Fatigue typical properties include
to the specific fiber, matrix and fabrication
all fatigue stress ratios. Fatigue statistical
process. The statistical testing process is
properties, of course, would be prohibitively
expensive and time consuming. In most cases,
the statistical database would be limited to the
If users of typical composite material prop-
laminate orientations tested, which would also
erties are aware of their limitations, typical
be very limited.
properties can be a very useful database for
For applications where sigruficant environ-
cost effective design and analysis.
mental conditions are present, the use of typical
material properties may not be applicable due
to large variations in the response of different
resins to these environmental conditions. These
conditions were summarized above and Berg, K.R. 1967. The effect of fiber spacing on the
included impact, humidity other corrosive flu- strength of composites laminates, Paper pre-
ids, stress concentrations, temperature, etc. sented at AAIAIASME 8th Structures, Structural
Dynamics and Materials Conference, Palm
Springs, CA.
A.5 SUMMARY Berg, K.R. 1982. The effect of matrix strain limita-
The design of composite material structures tions on composite design allowables. Proc. 27th
Nat. S A M P E Symp., May, 1992, San Diego, CA.
requires a knowledge of the material proper-
Berg, K.R. 1993. Composite Material Properties Data
ties for all combinations of laminates. It is Books - Sample Data Sheets. RIGGS Corporation,
cost-prohibitive to test all combinations of Seattle, WA.
laminates, even to obtain typical properties. To CertainTeed Corporation. 1989.Sales Brochure, Test
obtain statistical design properties for a lim- Data, Wichita Falls, TX.
ited number of laminate configurations is also Hashin, Z. and Rotem. A. 1975. Failm modes of
expensive, but in some cases may be required angle ply laminates. I. CompositeMater., Volume 9.
by a contract. Typical composite material Lubin, G. (ed.) 1987. Handbook of Composites. New
York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
properties can provide useful data and be cost Neal, D. and Spiridgliozzi, L. 1987. An efficient
effective for the design engineer. The data can method for determining the 'A' and 'B' design
be generated by utilizing typical unidirec- allowables. Army Materials and Mechanics
tional data for each class of materials, (as Research Center ,Watertown, MA.
discussed above for high strength carbon com- Toray Industries, Inc. 1991. Toruycu Sales Brochure,
posites). To generate all the laminate Typical Fiber Properties.
configuration, both limit (first ply failure) and Tsai, Stephen W. 1988. Composites Design. Dayton,
OH: Think Composites.
ultimate, requires a comprehensive computer Tsai, Stephen W. and Hahn. H. 1980. Introduction to
program, including a failure criteria (Tsai, Composite Materials. Westport, CT Technomic
1988; Hashin and Rotem, 1975) and utilizing Publication.