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Damage Mechanisms in Cross-Ply Fiber-Reinforced Composite Laminates

  1. Maria Kashtalyan1,
  2. Constantinos Soutis2

Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc064

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Kashtalyan, M. and Soutis, C. 2012. Damage Mechanisms in Cross-Ply Fiber-Reinforced Composite Laminates. Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–16.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland

  2. 2

    The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2012


The fracture process of composite laminates subjected to static or fatigue in-plane loading involves a sequential accumulation of intra- and interlaminar damage, in the form of matrix cracking and crack-induced delamination, before catastrophic failure. Matrix cracking parallel to the fibers in the off-axis plies is the first damage mode observed. It triggers development of other harmful resin-dominated modes such as delaminations. The present article reviews experimental and theoretical studies into the damage mechanisms in cross-ply composite laminates within the framework of damage micromechanics and discusses the effect of intra- and interlaminar damage on the behavior and mechanical properties of laminates, including the work of the authors on modeling matrix cracking and crack-induced delaminations.


  • matrix cracking;
  • delamination;
  • composite laminate;
  • fiber-reinforced composite;
  • stiffness;
  • shear-lag models;
  • equivalent constraint model