Synchrotron radiation-computed tomography (SRCT) has been used to observe in situ damage growth and enable micromechanical damage characterization in [90/0]s carbon fibre-epoxy composite samples loaded in uniaxial tension to stresses ranging from 30% to 90% of the nominal failure stress. A three dimensional finite element model has been constructed to predict crack opening displacements and shear displacements in the 0 degrees plies resulting from thermal residual stress imposed during autoclave cure and from the application of mechanical load. Of particular interest is the demonstration of SRCT as a technique to enable direct, in situ, 3-D, non-destructive damage quantification to assist model development and provide model validation. In addition it has been identified that SRCT has the potential for full field analysis of strain re-distributions during damage growth
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