Sensitivity of fire structural performance of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy laminates to ply orientation

K. Grigoriou, A. P. Mouritz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


This paper presents an experimental investigation into the structural response and failure of aerospace carbon-fibre epoxy laminates during exposure to fire. A comparative study into the fire structural resistance of four laminates with different stacking sequences of the 0o, 90o, +45o and -45o plies is presented. Fire structural tests are performed on the laminates subjected to one-sided heating representative of the heat radiated by fire and constant tension loading. Testing revealed that the internal temperatures of the laminates is dependent on their ply orientation; with laminates with a 0o ply at the heated surface reaching higher back face temperatures than laminates with a 45o surface ply. Laminates with a 45o surface ply experience more extensive heat-induced delamination cracking which lowers the effective through-thickness thermal conductivity. It is also found that the softening rate and stress rupture time depends on the ply orientation, most notably at low applied tensile stresses. Laminates with a 0o surface ply weaken at a faster rate and fail earlier in fire than laminates with a 45o surface ply. The research indicates that the fire structural survivability of carbon-epoxy aircraft structures may be strongly dependent on the ply stacking sequence, with 45o plies at the surface providing the best performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th International Conference on Composite Materials, ICCM 2015;
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Composite Materials 2015 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jul 201524 Jul 2015
Conference number: 20th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Composite Materials 2015
Abbreviated titleICCM 2015
Internet address


  • Composite
  • Damage
  • Fire
  • Mechanical Properties

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