Bolted joints in three axially braided carbon fibre/epoxy textile composites with moulded-in and drilled fastener holes
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Experimental behaviour of bolted joints in triaxial braided (0 degrees/+/- 45 degrees) carbon fibre/ epoxy composite laminates with drilled and moulded-in fastener holes has been investigated in this paper. Braided laminates were manufactured by vacuum infusion process using 12 K T700S carbon fibres (for bias and axial tows) and Araldite LY-564 epoxy resin. Moulded-in fastener holes were formed using guide pins which were inserted in the braided structure prior to the vacuum infusion process. The damage mechanism of the specimens was investigated using ultrasonic C-Scan technique. The specimens were dimensioned to obtain a bearing mode of failure. The bearing strength of the specimens with moulded-in hole was reduced in comparison to the specimens with drilled hole, due to the increased fibre misalignment angle following the pin insertion procedure. An improvement on the bearing strength of moulded-in hole specimens might be developed if the specimen dimensions would be prepared for a nettension mode of failure where the fibre misalignment would not have an effect as significant as in the case of bearing failure mode, but this mode should be avoided since it leads to sudden catastrophic failures.