Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020) | Viewed by 35635

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Physical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: nanotechnologies; corrosion science; electrochemistry; polymer science; chemistry; coatings; sol–gel method; carbon fibers/nanotubes
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Dear Colleagues,

Fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) materials are widely used in advanced structures and are often used to replace traditional materials such as metal components, especially those used in corrosive environments. They have become essential materials for maintaining and strengthening existing infrastructure due to the fact that they combine low weight and density with high strength, corrosion resistance, and high durability, providing many benefits in performance and durability. Modified fiber-based composites exhibit better mechanical properties, impact resistance, wear resistance, and fire resistance. Therefore, the FRC materials have reached a significant level of applications ranging from aerospace, aviation, and automotive systems to industrial, civil engineering, military, biomedical, marine facilities, and renewable energy. This Special Issue aims to attract all researchers working in this research field and will collect new findings and recent advances in the development, synthesis, structure–activity relationships, and future applications of composites including fibers. Research manuscripts, as well as a limited number of review manuscripts, are encouraged in following areas:·        

  • New processing methods
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Joining of composite structures
  • Polymeric composite
  • Ceramic composite
  • Structure–properties relationship
  • Lightweight structures
  • Fatigue, fracture, toughness
  • Environmental effects
  • Applications
  • Recycling

Dr. Ioannis Kartsonakis
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Fiber-based
  • Composite processing
  • Composite fabrication
  • Composite properties
  • Epoxy-based composites
  • Polymer-based composites
  • Ceramic-based composites

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 169 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue on “Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications”
by Ioannis A. Kartsonakis
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(16), 8030; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12168030 - 11 Aug 2022
Viewed by 804
Abstract
Fiber-reinforced composite (FRC) materials are widely used in advanced structures and are often used to replace traditional materials such as metal components, especially those used in corrosive environments [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

19 pages, 3809 KiB  
Article
Safe and Sustainable Design of Composite Smart Poles for Wireless Technologies
by Donato Di Vito, Mikko Kanerva, Jan Järveläinen, Alpo Laitinen, Tuomas Pärnänen, Kari Saari, Kirsi Kukko, Heikki Hämmäinen and Ville Vuorinen
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7594; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217594 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2386
Abstract
The multiplicity of targets of the 5G and further future technologies, set by the modern societies and industry, lacks the establishment of design methods for the highly multidisciplinary application of wireless platforms for small cells. Constraints are set by the overall energy concept, [...] Read more.
The multiplicity of targets of the 5G and further future technologies, set by the modern societies and industry, lacks the establishment of design methods for the highly multidisciplinary application of wireless platforms for small cells. Constraints are set by the overall energy concept, structural safety and sustainability. Various Smart poles and Light poles exist but it is challenging to define the design drivers especially for a composite load-carrying structure. In this study, the design drivers of a composite 5G smart pole are determined and the connecting design between finite element modelling (FEM), signal penetration and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for thermal analysis are reported as an interdisciplinary process. The results emphasize the significant effects of thermal loading on the material selection. The physical architecture, including various cutouts, is manipulated by the needs of the mmW radios, structural safety and the societal preferences of sustainable city planning, i.e., heat management and aesthetic reasons. Finally, the paint thickness and paint type must be optimized due to radome-integrated radios. In the future, sustainability regulations and realized business models will define the cost-structure and the response by customers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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12 pages, 6086 KiB  
Article
Joining of Thermoplastic Composites with Metals Using Resistance Element Welding
by Juliane Troschitz, Julian Vorderbrüggen, Robert Kupfer, Maik Gude and Gerson Meschut
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(20), 7251; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10207251 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3850
Abstract
Joining is a key enabler for a successful application of thermoplastic composites (TPC) in future multi-material systems. To use joining technologies, such as resistance welding for composite-metal joints, auxiliary joining elements (weld inserts) can be integrated into the composite and used as an [...] Read more.
Joining is a key enabler for a successful application of thermoplastic composites (TPC) in future multi-material systems. To use joining technologies, such as resistance welding for composite-metal joints, auxiliary joining elements (weld inserts) can be integrated into the composite and used as an interface. The authors pursue the approach of embedding metal weld inserts in TPC during compression moulding without fibre damage. The technology is based on the concept of moulding holes by a pin and simultaneously placing the weld insert in the moulded hole. Subsequently, the composite component can be joined with metal structures using conventional spot welding guns. For this purpose, two different types of weld inserts were embedded in glass fibre reinforced polypropylene sheets and then welded to steel sheets. A simulation of the welding process determined suitable welding parameters. The quality of the joints was analysed by microsections before and after the welding process. In addition, the joint strength was evaluated by chisel tests as well as single-lap shear tests for the different weld insert designs. It could be shown that high-quality joints can be achieved by using the innovative technology and that the load-bearing capacity is significantly influenced by the weld inserts head design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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19 pages, 4341 KiB  
Article
Shear Failure Mode and Concrete Edge Breakout Resistance of Cast-In-Place Anchors in Steel Fiber-Reinforced Normal Strength Concrete
by Jong-Han Lee, Eunsoo Choi and Baik-Soon Cho
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6883; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196883 - 1 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3487
Abstract
Concrete edge failure of a single anchor in concrete is strongly dependent on the tensile performance of the concrete, which can be greatly improved by the addition of steel fibers. This study investigated the effect of steel fibers on the shear failure mode [...] Read more.
Concrete edge failure of a single anchor in concrete is strongly dependent on the tensile performance of the concrete, which can be greatly improved by the addition of steel fibers. This study investigated the effect of steel fibers on the shear failure mode and edge breakout resistance of anchors installed in steel fiber-reinforced concrete (SFRC) with fiber volume percentages of 0.33, 0.67, and 1.00%. The anchor used in the study was 30 mm in diameter, with an edge distance of 75 mm and embedment depth of 240 mm. In addition to the anchor specimens, beam specimens were prepared to assess the relationship between the tensile performance of SFRC beams and the shear resistance of SFRC anchors. The ultimate flexural strength of the beam and the breakout shear resistance of the anchor increased almost linearly with increasing volume fractions of fiber. Therefore, based on the ACI 318 design equation, a term was proposed using the ultimate flexural strength of concrete instead of the compressive strength to determine the concrete breakout shear resistance of an anchor in the SFRC. The calculated shear resistance of anchors in both the plain concrete and SFRC were in good agreement with the measurements. In addition to the load capacity of the SFRC anchors, the energy absorption capacity showed a linear increase with that of the SFRC beam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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15 pages, 2842 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Performance of GFRP–GFRP Slip-Critical Connections with and without Stainless-Steel Cover Plates
by Yang Peng, Wei Chen, Zhe Wu, Jun Zhao and Jun Dong
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 4393; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124393 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2433
Abstract
Composite structures have become increasingly popular in civil engineering due to many advantages, such as light weight, excellent corrosion resistance and high productivity. However, they still lack the strength, stiffness, and convenience of constructions of fastener connections in steel structures. The most popular [...] Read more.
Composite structures have become increasingly popular in civil engineering due to many advantages, such as light weight, excellent corrosion resistance and high productivity. However, they still lack the strength, stiffness, and convenience of constructions of fastener connections in steel structures. The most popular fastener connections in steel structures are slip-critical connections, and the major factors that influence their strength are the slip factors between faying surfaces and the clamping force due to the prevailing torque. This paper therefore examined the effect that changing the following parameters had on the slip factor: (1) replacing glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) cover plates with stainless-steel cover plates; (2) adopting different surface treatments for GFRP-connecting plates and stainless-steel cover plates, respectively; and (3) applying different prevailing torques to the high-strength bolts. The impact on the long-term effects of the creep property in composite elements under the pressure of high-strength bolts was also studied with pre-tension force relaxation tests. It is shown that a high-efficiency fastener connection can be obtained by using stainless-steel cover plates with a grit-blasting surface treatment, with the maximum slip factor reaching 0.45, while the effects of the creep property are negligible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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21 pages, 5912 KiB  
Article
Influence of Thickness on Water Absorption and Tensile Strength of BFRP Laminates in Water or Alkaline Solution and a Thickness-Dependent Accelerated Ageing Method for BFRP Laminates
by Yanlei Wang, Wanxin Zhu, Xue Zhang, Gaochuang Cai and Baolin Wan
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3618; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103618 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2585
Abstract
This paper first presented an experimental study on water absorption and tensile properties of basalt fiber-reinforced polymer (BFRP) laminates with different specimen thicknesses (i.e., 1, 2, and 4 mm) subjected to 60 °C deionized water or alkaline solution for an ageing time up [...] Read more.
This paper first presented an experimental study on water absorption and tensile properties of basalt fiber-reinforced polymer (BFRP) laminates with different specimen thicknesses (i.e., 1, 2, and 4 mm) subjected to 60 °C deionized water or alkaline solution for an ageing time up to 180 days. The degradation mechanism of BFRP laminates in solution immersion was also explored combined with micro-morphology analysis by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). The test results indicated that the water absorption and tensile properties of BFRP laminates were dramatically influenced by specimen thickness. When the BFRP laminates with different thicknesses were immersed in the solution for the same ageing time, the water absorption of the specimens decreased firstly before reaching their peak water absorption and then increased in the later stage with the increase of specimen thickness, while the tensile strength retention sustaining increased as specimen thickness increased. The reason is that the thinner the specimen, the more severe the degradation. In this study, a new accelerated ageing method was proposed to predict the long-term water absorption and tensile strength of BFRP laminates. The accelerated factor of the proposed method was determined based on the specimen thickness. The proposed method was verified by test results with a good accuracy, indicating that the method could be used to predict long-term water absorption and tensile strength retention of BFRP laminates by considering specimen thickness in accelerating tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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18 pages, 9038 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Compressive Property of Three-Dimensional Four-Step Braided Composites after Cyclic Hygrothermal Aging under High Strain Rates
by Kailong Xu, Wei Chen, Lulu Liu, Gang Luo and Zhenhua Zhao
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10062061 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1752
Abstract
The longitudinal compressive behavior of the three-dimensional four-step braided composites after cyclic hygrothermal aging was investigated using a split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) apparatus under high strain rates (1100~1250 s−1, 1400~1600 s−1, 1700~1850 s−1, respectively). The SEM [...] Read more.
The longitudinal compressive behavior of the three-dimensional four-step braided composites after cyclic hygrothermal aging was investigated using a split Hopkinson pressure bar (SHPB) apparatus under high strain rates (1100~1250 s−1, 1400~1600 s−1, 1700~1850 s−1, respectively). The SEM micrographs were examined to the damage evolution of the composites after cyclic hygrothermal aging. A high-speed camera was employed to capture the progressive damage process for the composites. The results indicate that the saturated moisture absorption of the composites was not reached during the whole 210 cyclic hygrothermal aging days. The composites mainly underwent epoxy hydrolysis and interfaces debonding during continuous cyclic hygrothermal aging time. The peak stress of the composites still behaved as a strain rate effect after different cyclic hygrothermal aging days, but the dynamic stiffness modulus clearly had no specific regularity. In addition, the peak stress and the dynamic stiffness modulus of the composites after 210 cyclic hygrothermal aging days almost decreased by half when subjected to longitudinal compression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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15 pages, 5904 KiB  
Article
A Numerical Assessment on the Influences of Material Toughness on the Crashworthiness of a Composite Fuselage Barrel
by A. Riccio, S. Saputo, A. Sellitto and F. Di Caprio
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2019; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10062019 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
In the present work, a numerical study on the dynamic response of a composite fuselage barrel, in relation to crashworthiness, has been investigated. The aim of this work is to investigate the influence of the material fracture toughness on the capability of a [...] Read more.
In the present work, a numerical study on the dynamic response of a composite fuselage barrel, in relation to crashworthiness, has been investigated. The aim of this work is to investigate the influence of the material fracture toughness on the capability of a composite fuselage barrel to tolerate an impact on a rigid surface. Three different material configurations with different intra-laminar fracture energy values were considered to take into account variations in material toughness. Indeed, the dynamic behaviour of the analysed fuselage barrel has been numerically simulated by means of the FE (Finite Element) code Abaqus/Explicit. The effects of intralaminar fracture energy variations on the impact deformation of the barrel has been evaluated comparing the numerical results in terms of displacements and damage evolution for the three analysed material configurations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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18 pages, 20624 KiB  
Article
Numerical-Experimental Investigation into the Tensile Behavior of a Hybrid Metallic–CFRP Stiffened Aeronautical Panel
by Andrea Sellitto, Salvatore Saputo, Angela Russo, Vincenzo Innaro, Aniello Riccio, Francesco Acerra and Salvatore Russo
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10051880 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2763
Abstract
In this work, the tensile behavior of a hybrid metallic–composite stiffened panel is investigated. The analyzed structure consists of an omega-reinforced composite fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) panel joined with a Z-reinforced aluminum plate by fasteners. The introduced numerical model, able to simulate geometrical and [...] Read more.
In this work, the tensile behavior of a hybrid metallic–composite stiffened panel is investigated. The analyzed structure consists of an omega-reinforced composite fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) panel joined with a Z-reinforced aluminum plate by fasteners. The introduced numerical model, able to simulate geometrical and material non-linearities, has been preliminary validated by means of comparisons with experimental test results, in terms of strain distributions in both composite and metallic sub-components. Subsequently, the inter-laminar damage behavior of the investigated hybrid structure has been studied numerically by assessing the influence of key structural subcomponents on the damage evolution of an artificial initial debonding between the composite skin and stringers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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14 pages, 7080 KiB  
Article
Compression Shear Properties of Bonded–Bolted Hybrid Single-Lap Joints of C/C Composites at High Temperature
by Yanfeng Zhang, Zhengong Zhou and Zhiyong Tan
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10031054 - 5 Feb 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Based on previous research, in this paper, the compressive shear failure behavior and mechanical properties of bonded–bolted hybrid single-lap joints of C/C composites at high temperature were studied. The compression shear test was performed on the joints at 800 °C to obtain the [...] Read more.
Based on previous research, in this paper, the compressive shear failure behavior and mechanical properties of bonded–bolted hybrid single-lap joints of C/C composites at high temperature were studied. The compression shear test was performed on the joints at 800 °C to obtain the load–displacement curve and failure morphology. The failure modes of joints were observed by digital microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A numerical analysis model was implemented in finite element code Abaqus/Explicit embedded with the user material subroutine (VUMAT). The numerical results were compared with the test results to verify the correctness of the model. The interrelationship of the compression shear loading mechanism and the variations in stress distribution between bonded joints and bonded–bolted hybrid joints at high temperature were explored. The progressive damage of hybrid joints and the variations in the ratio of the bolt load to the total load with displacement were obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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22 pages, 10612 KiB  
Article
Impact Damage Resistance and Post-Impact Tolerance of Optimum Banana-Pseudo-Stem-Fiber-Reinforced Epoxy Sandwich Structures
by Mohamad Zaki Hassan, S. M. Sapuan, Zainudin A. Rasid, Ariff Farhan Mohd Nor, Rozzeta Dolah and Mohd Yusof Md Daud
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020684 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4180
Abstract
Banana fiber has a high potential for use in fiber composite structures due to its promise as a polymer reinforcement. However, it has poor bonding characteristics with the matrixes due to hydrophobic–hydrophilic incompatibility, inconsistency in blending weight ratio, and fiber length instability. In [...] Read more.
Banana fiber has a high potential for use in fiber composite structures due to its promise as a polymer reinforcement. However, it has poor bonding characteristics with the matrixes due to hydrophobic–hydrophilic incompatibility, inconsistency in blending weight ratio, and fiber length instability. In this study, the optimal conditions for a banana/epoxy composite as determined previously were used to fabricate a sandwich structure where carbon/Kevlar twill plies acted as the skins. The structure was evaluated based on two experimental tests: low-velocity impact and compression after impact (CAI) tests. Here, the synthetic fiber including Kevlar, carbon, and glass sandwich structures were also tested for comparison purposes. In general, the results showed a low peak load and larger damage area in the optimal banana/epoxy structures. The impact damage area, as characterized by the dye penetration, increased with increasing impact energy. The optimal banana composite and synthetic fiber systems were proven to offer a similar residual strength and normalized strength when higher impact energies were applied. Delamination and fracture behavior were dominant in the optimal banana structures subjected to CAI testing. Finally, optimization of the compounding parameters of the optimal banana fibers improved the impact and CAI properties of the structure, making them comparable to those of synthetic sandwich composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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17 pages, 6173 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Processing of Melt Spun Materials from Esterified Lignin with Lactic Acid
by Panagiotis Goulis, Ioannis A. Kartsonakis, George Konstantopoulos and Costas A. Charitidis
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5361; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9245361 - 8 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2908
Abstract
In this study, the carbon fiber manufacturing process is investigated, using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and esterified lignin either with lactic acid (LA) or with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as precursors. More specifically, lignin was modified using either LA or PLA in order to increase [...] Read more.
In this study, the carbon fiber manufacturing process is investigated, using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and esterified lignin either with lactic acid (LA) or with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as precursors. More specifically, lignin was modified using either LA or PLA in order to increase its chemical affinity with HDPE. The modified compounds were continuously melt spun to fibrous materials by blending with HDPE in order to fabricate a carbon fiber precursor. The obtained products were characterized with respect to their morphology, as well as their structure and chemical composition. Moreover, an assessment of both physical and structural transformations after modification of lignin with LA and PLA was performed in order to evaluate the spinning ability of the composite fibers, as well as the thermal processing to carbon fibers. This bottom–up approach seems to be able to provide a viable route considering large scale production in order to transform lignin in value-added product. Tensile tests revealed that the chemical lignin modification allowed an enhancement in its spinning ability due to its compatibility improvement with the commercial low-cost and thermoplastic HDPE polymer. Finally, stabilization and carbonization thermal processing was performed in order to obtain carbon fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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16 pages, 4201 KiB  
Article
Investigation on the Triaxial Mechanical Characteristics of Cement-Treated Subgrade Soil Admixed with Polypropylene Fiber
by Wei Wang, Chen Zhang, Jia Guo, Na Li, Yuan Li, Hang Zhou and Yong Liu
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(21), 4557; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9214557 - 27 Oct 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2957
Abstract
In order to evaluate the improvement effect of fiber on the brittle failure of cement-treated subgrade soil, a series of triaxial unconsolidated undrained (UU) tests were carried out on samples of polypropylene fiber-cement-treated subgrade soil (PCS) with polypropylene fiber mass content of 0‰, [...] Read more.
In order to evaluate the improvement effect of fiber on the brittle failure of cement-treated subgrade soil, a series of triaxial unconsolidated undrained (UU) tests were carried out on samples of polypropylene fiber-cement-treated subgrade soil (PCS) with polypropylene fiber mass content of 0‰, 2‰, 4‰, 6‰, and 10‰. The results showed that, (1) the deviatoric stress-axial strain curve of PCS samples were all strain-softening curves. (2) For the same fiber mass content, the peak stress, residual stress, and strain at peak stress of PCS samples gradually increases with the increase in the confining pressure, while their brittleness index gradually decreases. (3) With the increase in confining pressure, compared with that of the 0‰ PCS sample, the increase in peak stress, residual stress, and strain at peak stress of 6‰ PCS sample were in the ranges of 24%–29%, 87%–110%, and 85%–120%, respectively. The decrease in the brittleness index and failure angle was 52%–79% and 16%, while the cohesion and internal friction angle increased by 25.9% and 7.4%, respectively. The results of this study indicate that it is feasible to modify cement subgrade soil with an appropriate amount of polypropylene fiber to mitigate its brittle failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress of Fiber-Reinforced Composites: Design and Applications)
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