Compressive Strength in Composite Materials

Compressive Strength in Composite Materials

What is Compressive Strength? 

Compressive strength, also known as compression strength, is an important mechanical property for design engineers when a material is placed under direct compression loads. Compressive strength in metals is not typically found as the critical stress. However, in other materials such as concrete, plastic, wood, and composite, compressive strength can easily be the critical design property if the loading is primarily in compression. The compressive strength behavior of common materials such as metals, concrete, and wood is well documented. Composite materials exhibit some unique compressive strength behavior, depending on the composite construction. This technical paper will provide an overview of compressive strength related to composite materials. 

To discuss compressive strength in composite materials, briefly covering the definition of compressive strength is necessary. Figure 1 provides a simple diagram showing the compression of a cylinder.   

A cylinder under compressive load changes length and diameter.1 

Figure 1- A cylinder under compressive load changes length and diameter.1


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