Effective crack growth and residual strength of composite laminates with a sharp notch

Akbar Afaghi-Khatibi, Lin Ye, Yiu Wing Mai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The main objective of this study was to evaluate the residual strength of composite laminates with a sharp notch using an effective crack growth model (ECGM). Damage is assumed to initiate when the local normal stress ahead of the notch tip reaches the tensile strength of the unnotched laminate. The damage was modelled by a fictitious crack with cohesive stress acting on the crack surfaces and the damage growth was simulated by extension of the fictitious crack and reduction of the cohesive stress with crack opening. The apparent fracture energy (Gc*) was used to define the relationship between the unnotched strength and the critical crack opening. Based on the global equilibrium condition, an iterative technique was developed to evaluate the applied load required to produce the damage growth. The residual strength of notched composite laminates was defined by the applied load instability with damage growth. The effect of damage increment on the convergence of the residual strength was investigated and the stress redistribution with damage growth in the composite laminates was discussed. The residual strength simulated from the new model correlated well with experimental data in the published literature for the different laminate configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-357
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohesive stress
  • Effective crack growth
  • Failure criterion
  • Notched composite laminates
  • Residual strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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