Response and failure analysis of a graphite-epoxy laminate containing terminating internal plies
Kemp, Brian Lee
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A change in laminate thickness due to terminating internal plies acts as a stress riser for both intralamina and interlaminar stresses. This laminate configuration is referred to as a ply drop. The linear elastic, three-dimensional stress distributions in the vicinity of a ply drop are determined for a graphite-epoxy laminate subject to axial tension and compression by a finite element analysis. It is shown that the interlaminar stresses have a maximum magnitude at the ply drop-off, and decrease proceeding away from the drop-off. Two modes of failure initiation are analyzed. In the pure resin regions surrounding the dropped plies, the maximum stress criterion is assumed to govern failure. The Tsai-Wu criterion is used for intralamina failure prediction. The influence of two laminate lay-ups and a variety of ply drop geometries on the response and failure are presented.
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