Hybrid laminates made of polymer matrix composite plies with a metal sheet are called fiber metal laminates (FMLs). This study presents a new numerical approach for examining the fatigue damage progress in FMLs. A layer-wise finite element along with a cohesive element are used to predict the fatigue damage progress for splitting, transverse cracking and delamination. Four-node cohesive elements are introduced to express 0° ply splitting and transverse cracking. Eight-node cohesive elements are inserted into the ply interfaces to represent delamination. The most important character of this model is that the proposed simulation introduces a damage-mechanics concept into the degradation process in cohesive elements in order to express the damage progress due to cyclic loading. This enables us to address the complicated fatigue damage process observed in a FML. We applied this model to titanium/glass fiber-reinforced plastic (Ti/GFRP) laminates and compared the simulated results with the experiment data reported in the references. We confirmed that this model can reproduce the fatigue damage process in a FML. The effect of the parameters of the cohesive element on Ti crack growth and the delamination profile were also investigated. The Ti crack-growth rate was found to be strongly associated with the delamination profile near the crack tip.
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