Relationship between barcol hardness and flexural modulus degradation of composite sheets subjected to flexural fatigue
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The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between Barcol hardness (H) and flexural modulus (E) degradation of composite sheets subjected to flexural fatigue. The resin transfer molding (RTM) method was used to produce 3-mm-thick composite sheets with fiber volume fraction of 44%. The composite sheets were subjected to flexural fatigue tests and Barcol scale hardness measurements. After these tests, the stiffness and hardness degradations were investigated in the composite sheets that failed after around one million cycles (stage III). Flexural modulus degradation values were in the range of 0.41-0.42 with the corresponding measured hardness degradation values in the range of 0.25-0.32 for the all fatigued composite sheets. Thus, a 25% reduction in the initial hardness and a 41% reduction in the initial flexural modulus can be taken as the failure criteria. The results showed that a reasonably well-defined relationship between Barcol hardness and flexural modulus degradation in the distance range.