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University of Southampton Malaysia

Research project: Generating pseudo-ductility in hybrid short/continuous fibre-reinforced composites using recycled carbon fibres (open for PhD application)

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Despite their high strength, fibre-reinforced composites are known to be brittle, i.e. they fail catastrophically without warning. Pseudo-ductility can be generated in a composite by devising a gradual subcritical progressive damage process, such that it exhibits ‘strain-hardening’ similar to ductile metals, which can serve as a warning sign with detectable damage before final failure.

The project aims to reuse recycled carbon fibres to generate pseudo-ductility in a hybrid glass/carbon fibre composite with improved damage tolerance. Highly-aligned short carbon fibres will be embedded within continuous glass fibre composites as a mechanism to trigger a subcritical stable delamination damage process. The project will establish the effects of material parameters (e.g. thickness and length) of the recycled carbon fibres on the subcritical delamination growth rate and pseudo-ductility, via an extensive test programme of un-notched and open-holed hybrid composite specimens. Their subcritical damage development is investigated using digital image correlation.

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