Fracture mechanics of a composite with ductile fibers

W. W. Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Fracture mechanics of a metal-matrix composite containing ductile-metallic fibers is described. Experimental verification of the proposed descriptions has been established with an aluminum-base composite containing uni-directional stainless-steel fibers. Theoretical description of the plastic energy dissipation shows that crack propagation across fibers is very difficult because of the high energy density represented by the fiber. The fiber contribution is an increasing function of volume fraction which results in the critical stress-intensity factor increasing with fiber content. On the other hand, crack propagation between fibers is very easy because the inter-fiber spacing limits the plastic energy dissipation in the matrix. The critical stress intensity for crack propagation between fibers is a decreasing function of volume fraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-87
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1971
Externally publishedYes


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