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Failure analysis of a quasi-isotropic laminated composite plate with a hole in compression
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The ability to predict failure of laminated composites in compression has been doggedly pursued by researchers for many years. Most have, to a limited extent, been able to predict failure for a narrow range of laminates. No means, as yet, exist for predicting the strength of generic laminates under various load conditions. Of primary concern has been the need to establish the mode at failure in compression. Even this has been known to vary for fiber and matrix dominated laminates. This study has been carried out to analyze the failure of specimens with a hole made of laminates with various quasi-isotropic stacking sequences. Different stacking sequences are achieved by rotating a [±45/90/0]s stacking sequence laminate as a whole with respect to the loading axis of the specimens. Two- and three-dimensional finite element models, using commercial packages, were generated to evaluate the stresses in the region of the hole. Two different compressive failure prediction techniques based on distinctly different failure modes have been used. The validity of these techniques was measured against experimental data of quasi-isotropic specimens tested. To investigate the applicability of the failure criteria for different laminated composite plates, analyses were repeated for specimens with different stacking sequences resulting from the rotation of the laminate. The study shows the need for the use of three-dimensional analysis of the stress state in the vicinity of the hole in order to be able to accurately predict failure. It also shows that no one mode of failure is responsible for limiting the strength for all laminate orientations but rather the mode changes with change in stacking sequence. The failure of the laminate with a hole was seen to be very sensitive to the stacking sequence. Experimental data presented also shows that the peak strength obtainable from the laminate analyzed, [±45/90/0]s, is going to be in the off-axis configuration rather than on-axis placement of the stacking sequence with respect to the loading direction.
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