In this study, a novel Interlaminar tension test (ITT) method was performed to experimentally investigate the bridging and fracture process of a single stitch fibre used to improve the delamination strength of composite laminates. Kevlar-29, of various thread thicknesses (44, 66, 88 and 132 tex), was used as the through-thickness stitch fibre in the ITT experiments. Key empirical force and displacement parameters, which governed the stitch fibre bridging law, were characterised and identified. Relationships of such parameters with thread thicknesses were determined. Fibre fracture load and fibre fracture energy are found to increase with increasing thread thickness. Frictional pull-out force greatly depends on the type of stitch fracture modes, which can be grouped into three categories. This paper aims to provide better physical understanding of the mechanics and mechanisms of stitch fibre fracture. By correlating critical stitch fracture parameters with stitch fibre thicknesses, the results expect to provide useful reference, which is essential and important for accurate stitch computational modeling and strength prediction of composites using stitching as the interlaminar reinforcement technique.
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