Experimental and numerical studies of initial cracking in CFRP cross-ply laminates

T. Okabe, H. Imamura, Y. Sato, R. Higuchi, J. Koyanagi, R. Talreja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This work is concerned with the conditions for formation of the first (initial) cracks in composite laminates with cutouts or ply drop-offs subjected to in-plane loading. We study here the crack formation on the free edge of CFRP cross-ply laminates experimentally and by numerical stress and failure analysis. The free-edge surface strains are measured by the digital image correlation (DIC) technique. The numerical analysis consists of a two-scale approach, where the macro-level analysis is performed with a three-dimensional finite-element method (3D FEM) and the micro-level analysis uses a periodic unit-cell (PUC) in the transverse plies. The constitutive assumption made for the macro-level analysis is an orthotropic linear thermo-elastic solid for the unidirectional plies with a thin isotropic viscoplastic layer between the longitudinal and transverse plies. In the PUC, the fibers are assumed linear elastic, while the matrix is modeled as an elastic-viscoplastic solid. Crack formation is assumed to occur in the matrix by the dilatation induced brittle failure mechanism for which the dilatation energy density criterion is used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan


  • A. Laminates
  • B. Transverse cracking
  • C. Computational modeling
  • C. Finite element analysis (FEA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials


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