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Abstract

Finite element models of the continuum-based theories and two-dimensional plate/shell theories used in the analysis of composite laminates are reviewed. The classical and shear deformation theories up to the third-order are presented in a single theory. Results of linear and non-linear bending, natural vibration and stability of composite laminates are presented for various boundary conditions and lamination schemes. Computational modelling issues related to composite laminates, such as locking, symmetry considerations, boundary conditions, and geometric non-linearity effects on displacements, buckling loads and frequencies are discussed. It is shown that the use of quarter plate models can introduce significant errors into the solution of certain laminates, the non-linear effects are important even at small ratio of the transverse deflection to the thickness of antisymmetric laminates with pinned edges, and that the conventional eigenvalue approach for the determination of buckling loads of composite laminates can be overly conservative.