Extracting single fiber transverse and shear moduli from off-axis misalignment fiber tensile testing

Timothy M Harrell, Cole Love-Baker, Kenneth R. Brown, Clifton Bumgardner, Xiaodong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Small diameter (<100 μm) fibers (e.g. carbon fibers, Kevlar, and fiberglass) and wires (e.g. ultrafine copper and aluminum wires) are frequently used in many different engineering applications, such as for light weighting structures, electromagnetic shielding for aircraft/infrastructure/EVs, vibration damping, biological sensors, aerospace electrical devices, and electric windings just to name a few. Due to the manufacturing process, the fibers and wires are pulled and stretched to produce a preferential alignment. Therefore, thin fibers and wires typically display different properties along the length of the fiber as opposed to their cross section and many fibers/wires are considered transversely isotropic. The axial properties of fibers/wires can be ascertained via tensile testing of single filaments or fiber tows, but the radial properties require much more effort to measure. Knowing these properties is important for the accurate prediction of micromechanical models and manipulation of fibers during micromanufacturing. In this paper, a new technique was developed to determine the transverse/shear moduli and strength of a material by conducting tensile tests of the material at increasing misalignment angles from the tensile axis. Due to the transversely isotropic nature of the material, the transverse/shear moduli and strength influence the experimental results recorded by the test machine to different degrees based on the amount of misalignment in the test setup. An equation was derived to determine the influence of each of the material properties based on the misalignment angle by manipulating the stiffness matrix for transversely isotropic materials using the transformation matrices. Then, curve fitted coefficients were used to identify the material properties. The strengths were similarly determined by curve fitting an off-axis Tsai-Hill failure criteria to determine the influence of transverse, shear, and tensile strengths based on the complex loading condition provided by the off-axis tensile test. Zoltek Panex 35 carbon fibers were used to demonstrate this new technique, and the determined properties were then compared to those obtained from nanoindentation and from literature. Fracture surfaces provide insight into the different failure mechanisms at various misalignment angles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Early online date15 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank Zoltek for providing all of the carbon fiber samples used in this study. The authors also thank the Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility at the University of Virginia for providing access to the SEM.

Data Availability Statement

Data will be made available on request.


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