An overview is presented of the fracture behaviour and failure mechanisms of composite laminates containing woven fabrics in mode I and mode II delamination and under impact loading. Potential advantages of using woven fabrics as opposed to cross-ply unidirectional prepreg tapes are specifically discussed from the viewpoint of the microstructure/property relationship. Correlations are established between resistance to and tolerance of impact damage and the delamination resistance of composites. Salient differences are identified between composites made from different fibre configurations in terms of the process of damage development, damage modes/states and residual performance after impact damage. The effects of fibre/matrix interface properties influenced by different silane coupling agents on interlaminar fracture and the impact performance of woven-glass-fabric composites are evaluated. The implications of these findings are discussed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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