Journal of Composite Materials 48:23 (2014) 2871-2878.

DOI: 10.1177/0021998313503026


Woven fabrics used in composite materials are designed to fulfill specific manufacturing or structural requirements. Knowledge of the influence of the weave structure on the mechanical properties of the composite is essential to properly optimize the design of structural components. The focus of this work is to investigate the influence of the type of weave used for fabric reinforcement in polymers particularly on the in-plane shear mechanical performance. The selected materials are carbon fibers and epoxy resin. The laminates are manufactured by vacuum infusion. Three woven structures are selected for manufacturing the composite laminates: (a) a plain weave with unidirectional orientation in the warp direction, (b) a plain weave with balanced properties in the warp and weft directions and (c) a 2/2 twill weave with balanced properties in the warp and weft directions. The laminates are tested according to the ASTM D 4255 standard by a two-rail shear test under quasi-static monotonic and cyclic loading conditions. The resulting stress–strain curves are used to study the initial in-plane shear modulus and its evolution (which directly correlates with material damage) and the hardening produced by plastic strain. The results show that for vacuum infusion manufacturing, the weave structure has an influence on the resulting fiber and void volume fractions and, consequently, on the mechanical performance. However, for similar fiber volumes, the weave structure is found to have little effect on the experimental results.

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