DOI: 10.1177/002199837400800303 ISSN:

Stress Fracture Criteria for Laminated Composites Containing Stress Concentrations

J.M. Whitney, R.J. Nuismer
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites

Two related criteria based on stress distribution are presented for predicting the uniaxial tensile strength of laminated composites containing through the thickness discontinuities of a general shape. The criteria result in two parameter (unnotched tensile strength and a characteristic dimension) models which are capable of predicting observed discontinuity size effects without resorting to classical concepts of linear elastic fracture mechanics. As a direct consequence of the stress criteria, however, a relationship between Mode I fracture toughness and unnotched laminate tensile strength is determined. Limited comparison of theory to experimental data for circular holes and straight cracks yields good results. The simplicity of the analytical approach coupled with its generality make it of practical value to the designer.

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