Delamination in Thickness Tapered Composite Laminates

[+] Author and Article Information
B. R. Trethewey

BASF Structural Materials, NPS/D, Charlotte, NC 28241

J. W. Gillespie, D. J. Wilkins

Center for Composite Materials, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 115(2), 193-199 (Apr 01, 1993) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2904206 History: Received October 01, 1991; Revised August 30, 1992; Online April 29, 2008


The structural performance of thickness-tapered laminates has been investigated using an energy-based damage tolerance methodology. The geometry studied is a thin laminate with discontinuous internal plies and a through-width delamination embedded at the interface between continuous and discontinuous sublaminates. An analytic model, based on shear deformation plate theory and linear-elastic fracture mechanics is employed to determine the Mode I and Mode II components of strain energy release rate. A two-dimensional plane strain finite element analysis is conducted to confirm the accuracy of the analytic predictions. The resulting pure mode strain energy release rates are combined with a mixed-mode growth criterion to predict the axial load required to induce delamination growth. Finally, the analytic and numerical model were used to predict failure in a delamination critical test specimen. Reasonable agreement of the actual and predicted failure loads was observed.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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