The positive combination of lightweight design and high fatigue resistance of fiber reinforced materials has led to their broad application in many different structural applications. During the design phase, it is often only considered that these materials are subjected to tensile loading conditions to make use of their excellent strength and fatigue resistance properties. However, in the current challenge to reduce weight of transportation vehicles, a broadening range of loading conditions for composites may arise, whereby it is not always possible to restrict loading to pure tensile conditions. In contrast to metals, compressive loading is a challenging load case for composites. Much research is undertaken to understand the compressive behavior of composites and to develop valid methods for their characterization. Especially for compressive fatigue testing (load ratio R < 0 and R > 1), the generally accepted methods are rare, and not much is reported in the literature on how characterization should be done. This review provides an overview of existing methods, i.e., setups for testing fiber reinforced polymer composites under compression and discusses their applicability to fatigue testing.
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