Mode II delamination resistance of composites reinforced with inclined Z-pins
Materials & design
Z-pin reinforcements in composite materials significantly enhance the through-thickness strength by providing strong bridging forces on the delaminated surfaces of a damaged laminate. The bridging forces have been shown to be more effective in mode I dominated delamination cracks than in mode II shear dominated cracks. One solution to help improve the Mode II delamination resistance of Z-pins is to incline the pins such that the angle between the longitudinal axis of the pin and the shear force
... and the shear force load vector is reduced. In this study, the Mode II resistance of laminated composite reinforced through the thickness with inclined Z-pins is characterised. There is a notable increase in the apparent fracture toughness of composites when Z-pins are better aligned with the shear load vector (inclined) compared to the conventional, orthogonally inserted Z-pins. Brittle, catastrophic failure however occurs when the inclined Z-pins are angled against the shear load vector. For many structures the direction of the local direction of shear load cannot always be predicted, therefore a general approach for inclined Z-pins using a ± θ configuration was also investigated. With this setup, a modest improvement in the apparent fracture toughness was obtained.