Damage Tolerance of Composite Cylinders
The fracture of pressurized graphite/epoxy cylinders was investigated and their damage tolerance assessed. The cylinders were 610 mm (24 in) long and 305 mm (12 in) in diameter and were fabricated from Hercules A370-5H/3501-6 prepreg cloth in 4-ply configurations: (0,45)s and (45,0)s. The cylinders were slit in the longitudinal direction and the critical flaw sizes for three pressure levels were determined. Experiments on coupons of similar construction loaded in tension were previously conducted. The critical flaw sizes for the cylinders were well predicted from the flat coupon data corrected for the effects of curvature. In addition, circumferentially-wrapped unidirectional plies of Herecules AS1/3501-6 tape of various stacking sequences were used as selective reinforcement on several (0,45)s cylinders. There reinforcing plies did change the path of damage but did not prevent catastrophic failure.