1999 Volume 42 Issue 2 Pages 265-271
Carbon/Carbon(C/C) composites have attractive mechanical properties such as superior specific strength and high elastic modulus at high temperature exceeding 2000°C in an inert atmosphere. However, mainly due to lack of knowledge of design criteria, C/C composites have not been used in primary heat resistant structures. For example, almost no unified explanation has been given about the fracture behavior of C/C composites. The objective of this paper is to examine the adequacy of the linear elastic fracture mechanics(LEFM) as the fracture criterion of notched C/C composites. Thus the LEFM was tried to be applied to fracture behavior in tensile tests of double-edge-notched and compact tension specimens and in four-point bending tests of single-edge-notched specimens. It was found that the results of three kinds of fracture tests can be consistently and rationally explained in terms of the LEFM concept with the aid of R-curve behavior if the pre-crack length is long enough to be able to neglect the notch tip radius. From fractographic observation it was found that R curve behavior of C/C composites was mainly attributed to the fiber-bridging effect near the notch tip.