First-ply failure prediction of fibrous composites with finite element analysis


  1. Smith, M.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
The usefulness of macroscopic failure theories for laminated composites is investigated by means of a finite element based approach for determining first-ply failure loads of structures. A review of phenomenological (macroscopic) failure theories is provided, with detailed descriptions of six stress-based theories. The computational approach for first-ply failure analysis uses a linear static finite element analysis, followed by the iterative scaling of the stress-strain results to satisfy the chosen failure criterion. The resulting scaling factor defines the failure load. The first-ply algorithm and failure criteria have been implemented in a special-purpose finite element code for laminated plate and shell structures. Failure loads are predicted and validated with the six selected stress-based criteria for a rectangular composite plate structure with transverse and in-plane loading case. The strength of angle-ply laminates, both with and without a stress concentration, is then examined as a function of the ply angle. Although no one criterion stands out as superior to the others, good consistency is obtained by four out of the six criteria in predicting failure loads and locations. Among these four, the Maximum Stress and Tsai Wu criteria showed a tendency to over-predict the failure loads, especially with angle-ply laminates. TRUNCATED

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Macroscopic failure theory;Phenomenological failure theory;First-ply failure;Quadrilateral shell element;
Report Number
DREA-TM-2001-065 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jun 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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