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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present microstructural and fractographic analysis of damage in aluminum (2024T3)/carbon-fiber reinforced laminates (AlC) after static tensile test. The influence of fiber orientation on the failure was studied and discussed.
Design/methodology/approach - The subject of examination was AlC. The fiber-metal laminates (FMLs) were manufactured by stacking alternating layers of 2024-T3 aluminum alloy (0.3 mm per sheets) and carbon/epoxy composites made of unidirectional prepreg tape HexPly system (Hexcel, USA) in , [+/- 45] and [0/90]S configuration. The fractographic analysis was carried out after static tensile test on the damage area of the specimens. The mechanical tests have been performed in accordance to ASTM D3039. The microstructural and fractographic analysis of FMLs were studied using optical (Nikon SMZ1500, Japan) and scanning electron microscope (Zeiss Ultra Plus, Germany).
Findings - FMLs based on aluminum and carbon/epoxy composite are characterized by high tensile properties depending on their individual components and the orientation of the reinforcing fibers, failure of hybrid laminates indicates the complexity process of degradation of these materials. The nature of damage in FML layers is similar to that typical in polymer composites with interlaminar delaminations, transverse cracks of the composite layers, degradation of fiber/matrix interface, damage process in FMLs is also associated mainly with interface between metal and fiber reinforced composite. The mixed damage - cohesive and adhesive - was observed.
Originality/value - One of the most important aspect in the designing and manufacturing process in the service life of composite structures is damage mechanisms. The damage processes in composite materials, particularly in FMLs, are more complex in comparison to metal materials and fiber reinforced polymers.