Free-Edge and ply cracking effect in angle-ply laminated composites subjected to in-plane loads

Daxu Zhang, Jianqiao Ye, Dennis Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a semianalytical method for the prediction of interlaminar stresses and displacements near the free edges and ply cracks in general angle-ply laminates subjected to biaxial extensions and/or in plane shear deformation. The method is based on a state space representation of the three-dimensional equations of elasticity. Numerical solutions are obtained by using layer refinement in the through thickness direction and Fourier series expansion in the other directions. By this approach, an angle-ply laminate may be composed of an arbitrary number of monoclinic layers and each layer may have different material property and thickness. This method guarantees continuous fields of all interlaminar stresses across interfaces between material layers. Numerical results are compared with those obtained from other methods. It is found that the theory provides a satisfactory approximation to the stress singularities near the free edges and ply cracks. Numerical solutions for antisymmetric laminates under extension and general laminates under shearing are new in the literature and can be used as benchmarks for validating new models. © 2007 ASCE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1268-1277
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Anisotropy
  • Cracking
  • Edge effect
  • Interfaces
  • Laminates
  • Materials
  • Stress analysis


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