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Ply cracking and stiffness degradation in cross-ply laminates under biaxial extension, bending and thermal loading

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/2006
JournalComposite Structures
Journal number1-4
Volume75
Number of pages11
Pages121-131
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Transverse ply cracking often leads to the loss of stiffness and reduction in thermal expansion coefficients. This paper presents the thermoelastic degradation of general cross-ply laminates, containing transverse ply cracks, subjected to biaxial extension, bending and thermal loading. The stress and displacement fields are calculated by using the state space equation method [Zhang D, Ye JQ, Sheng HY. Free-edge and ply cracking effect in cross-ply laminated composites under uniform extension and thermal loading. Compos Struct [in press].]. By this approach, a laminated plate may be composed of an arbitrary number of orthotropic layers, each of which may have different material properties and thickness. The method takes into account all independent material constants and guarantees continuous fields of all interlaminar stresses across interfaces between material layers. After introducing the concept of the effective thermoelastic properties of a laminate, the degradations of axial elastic moduli, Poisson's ratios, thermal expansion coefficients and flexural moduli are predicted and compared with numerical results from other methods or available test results. It is found that the theory provides good predictions of the stiffness degradation in both symmetric and antisymmetric cross-ply laminates. The predictions of stiffness reduction in nonsymmetric cross-ply laminates can be used as benchmark test for other methods. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.