Stiffness reduction and fracture evolution of oblique matrix cracks in composite laminates

Daniel H. Cortes, Ever J. Barbero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


A constitutive model to predict the onset and evolution of matrix cracking and the subsequent stiffness reduction is derived analytically. The formulation is valid for symmetric laminates with otherwise arbitrary stacking sequence and matrix cracks in one or two directions. The proposed model calculates the reduction of the mechanical properties of the damaged laminate as function of crack densities. The onset and evolution of matrix cracks are predicted by the model in terms of undamaged lamina properties and the critical strain energy release rates for modes I and II (GIC and GIIC). Therefore, there is not need for postulating damage evolution functions and no need for empirically adjusting the associated material parameters. The model formulation was specialized for the particular case of unidirectional loading. Comparison with experimental data showed an excellent prediction of crack initiation and evolution for a variety of laminate stacking sequences. The combination of constitutive and damage evolution equations formed an integrated, mechanistic damage model with no adjustable parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Solid and Structural Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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