This article provides a summary of the concepts discussed in the articles under the section “Failure Analysis” in ASM Handbook, Volume 21: Composites. Most of the information in this section is geared toward organic-matrix composites, although there is some information on failure analysis and fractography of ceramic- and metal-matrix composites.
This article reviews failure causes from a broad perspective, so that the composites designer, manufacturer, and user can readily see some of the more common issues associated with unique materials. It discusses the three discrete arenas of failure of composite materials. These include improper design, improper manufacturing, and improper use of the end product.