A new compressive testing apparatus is developed and used in this research. It has long gauge length to allow digital image correlation monitoring and anti buckling guides to prevent buckling. It allows the optical recording of strains and displacements. The novel setup is used to study the compressive response of tufted and untufted Carbon non crimp fabric composites with full field measurements. Experimental results show that the specimens are not bending in the apparatus under compression. Results also show reduced strain concentrations and a large strain field that provides a good environment for material compressive stiffness characterization. The test proves particularly successful for bias direction layup of [+45/-45] for which large damage mechanism occurs. However for [0/90] specimens a scatter in compressive ultimate strength was noticed which is due to the difficulty to prepare specimens with best minute accurate geometry. The compressive apparatus has shown to be a good alternative to existing setups and to provide significantly more information as well as having the possibility to be used in dynamics with a drop tower.
Cite this paper
M. Colin de Verdiere, A. Skordos and A. Walton, "Characterization of Reinforced Carbon Composites with Full Field Measurements: Long Gauge Length Compressive Apparatus," Open Journal of Composite Materials, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 7-15. doi: 10.4236/ojcm.2013.31002.
 M. Colin de Verdiere, A. K. Pickett, A. A. Skordos and V. Witzel, “Evaluation of the Mechanical and Damage Behaviour of Tufted Non Crimped Fabric Composites Using Full Field Measurements,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 69, No. 2, 2009, pp. 131-138.
 An American National Standard, “Standard Test Method for Compressive Properties of Rigid Plastics, Designation: D695-91,” Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol. 15-03.
 J. F. Harper, N. A. Miller and S. C. Yap, “ Problems Associated with the Compression Testing of Fiber Reinforced Plastics Composites,” Polymer Testing, Vol. 12 No. 1, 1993, pp. 15-29.
 R L. Westberg and M. G. Abdallah, “An Experimental and Analytical Evaluation of Three Compressive Test Methods for Unidirectional Graphite/Epoxy Composites,” Proceeding of the 6th International Congress on Experimental Mechanics, Vol. 1, 1988, pp. 350-361.
 An American National Standard, “Standard Test Methods for Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Material with Unsupported Gage Section by Shear Loading, Designation: D341/3410M-03,” Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol 15-03.
 X. Ming and F. Adams, “Effect of Loading Method on Compression Testing of Composite Material,” Journal of Composite Materials, Vol. 29, No. 12, 1995, pp. 1581-1600.
 D. H. Woolstencroft, A. R. Curtis and R. I. A. Haresceugh, “A Comparison of Tests Techniques Used for the Evaluation of the Unidirectional Compressive Strength of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Plastic,” Composites, Vol. 12, No. 4, 1981, pp. 275-280.
 D. F Adams and J. F. Welsh, “The Wyoming Combined Loading Compression (CLC) Test Method,” Journal of Composites Technology & Research, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1997 pp. 123-133. doi:10.1520/CTR10023J
 J. G. Haberle and F. L Matthews, “The Influence of Test Methods on the Compressive Strength of Several Fiber-Reinforced Plastics,” Journal of Advanced Materials, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1993, pp. 33-45.
 J. Haberle, “Strength and Failure Mechanisms of Unidirectional Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Plastic under Axial Compression,” Ph.D. Thesis, Imperial College Technology and Medecine, London, 1991.
 “Standard Test Method for Determining the Compressive Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Laminate Using a Combined Loading Compression (CLC) Test Fixture. Designation: D6641/D6641M,” Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Vol. 15-03.
 D. F. Adams and E. Q. Lewis, “Influence of Specimen Gage Length and Loading Method on the Axial Compressive Strength of Unidirectional Composite Materials,” Experimental Mechanics, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1991, pp. 14-20. doi:10.1007/BF02325717
 J. G. Haeberle and F. L. Matthews, “The Influence of Test Methods on the Compressive Strength of Several Fibber Reinforced Plastics,” Journal of Advanced Materials, Vol. 25, No. l, 1993 pp. 33-45.
 C. Seng and T. Tan, “Stress Analysis and the Testing of Celanese and IITRI Compression Specimens,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 44, No. 1, 1992, pp. 57-70. doi:10.1016/0266-3538(92)90025-X
 P. Berbineau, C. Soutis and I. A. Guz, “Compressive Failure of 0 Degrees Unidirectional Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) Laminates by Fibre Microbuckling” Composites Science and technology, Vol. 59, No. 9, 1999, pp. 1451-1455. doi:10.1016/S0266-3538(98)00181-X
 R. Aoki, J. T. Hart, H. Bookholt, P. T. Curtis, I. Kroeber, N. Marks and P. Sigety, “Compressive Strength of Various CFRP’s Tested by Different Laboratories,” National Aerospace Lab Amsterdam, Garteur Tp-c63 04/1993.
 C. A. Squires, K. H. Netting and A. R. Chambers, “Understanding the Factors Affecting the Compressive Testing of Unidirectional Carbon Fibre Composites,” Composites Part B, Vol. 38, No. 4, 2007, pp. 481-487.
 T. A. Bogetti, J. W. Gillespie and R. B. Pipes, “Evaluation of the IITRI Compression Test Method for Stiffness and Strength Determination,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 32, No. 1, 1988, pp. 57-76.
 H. Nisitani, Y. H. Kim, H. Gotos and H. Nishitani, “Effect of Gage Length and Stress Concentration on the Compressive Strength of a Unidirectional CFRP,” Engineering Frac ture Mechanics, Vol. 49, No. 6, 1988, pp. 953-961. doi:10.1016/0013-7944(94)90026-4
 A. G Salvi, A. M Waas and A. Caliskan, “Specimen Size Effects in the Off-Axis Compression Test of Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Tow Composites,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 64, No. 1, 2004, pp. 83-97.
 H. M. Hsiao and I. M. Daniel, “Effect of Fibre Waviness on Stiffness and Strength Reduction of Unidirectional Composites under Compressive Loading,” Composites Science and Technology, Vol. 56, No. 5, 1996, pp. 581-593. doi:10.1016/0266-3538(96)00045-0
 N. K. Naik and R. S. Kumar, “Compressive Strength of Unidirectional Composites: Evaluation and Comparison of Prediction Models,” Composites Structures, Vol. 46, No. 3, 1999, pp. 299-308.
 Y. L. Xu and K. L. Reifsnider. “Micromechanical Modeling of Composite Compressive Strength,” Journal of Composite Materials, Vol. 27, No. 6, 1993, pp. 558-572.
 M. Colin de Verdiere, “Damage and Strain Rate Optical Characterization of Tutfted and Untufted Carbon Composites for Mesoscale Impact Models,” Ph.D. Thesis