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A progressive failure analysis applied to fibre-reinforced composite plates subject to out-of-plane bending

Ellul, B and Camilleri, Duncan and Betts, J (2014) A progressive failure analysis applied to fibre-reinforced composite plates subject to out-of-plane bending. Mechanics of Composite Materials, 49 (6). pp. 605-620. ISSN 0191-5665

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The ability to predict the structural response of composites offers a significant advantage to design engineers and provides the possibility of identifying structurally efficient composite assemblies. Various analytical and numerical models are possible, but care has to be taken to ensure that the appropriate structural performance and failure criteria are used. In particular, modeling the progressive failure of composite laminas requires robust and validated failure algorithms that are not only computationally efficient, but are also able to predict the load–deformation characteristics and to ultimately establish the failure load appropriately. This study looks into different progressive failure macromechanical algorithms applied to e-glass-fiber-reinforced composite plates subject to out-of-plane bending. The influence of different boundary conditions of the plates, ranging from fully clamped to simply supported ones, on their ultimate failure load is also investigated. The results are validated by experimental data found in the literature and show that boundary conditions have a significant influence on the predicted ultimate failure load. The study also shows that, in this case, the predominant failure mechanism is the failure of matrix, and after the redistribution of stresses, no consecutive failure due to fiber or fiber-matrix failure occurs in the lamina, therefore a sudden-degradation progressive ply failure algorithm based on the failure mode is sufficient to model the structural performance of composite plates subject to out-of-plane bending.