A continuum damage model for transverse matrix cracking in laminated fibre-reinforced composites

S. Li*, S. R. Reid, P. D. Soden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the effects of damage in the form of transverse matrix cracking in fibre-reinforced laminates of arbitrary layup are considered in the context of continuum damage mechanics. A complete model for the damage process is accomplished by establishing an appropriate damage representation and a damage growth law. Talreja's damage representation has been modified and significant simplifications have been achieved in defining the damage-related material constants for this particular form of damage in a convenient way. The modified damage representation is lamina-based while Talreja's damage representation is, in the context of this paper, laminate-based. The assumptions introduced to simplify the damage representation are examined and justified. Employing the concept of a damage surface, an incremental damage growth law is formulated. A complete damage model is achieved by combining the damage representation and the damage growth law. The model results in a new laminate theory which describes the deformation of laminates as well as the development of the damage process in the form of crack multiplication. This enables practical predictions to be made of the behaviour of laminated structures made of fibre-reinforced composites experiencing transverse matrix cracking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2379-2412
Number of pages34
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1746
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1998


  • Composite laminates
  • Continuum damage mechanics
  • Crack multiplication
  • Damage model
  • Fibre-reinforced composites
  • Transverse matrix cracking


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