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A Higher Order Synergistic Damage Model for Prediction of Stiffness Changes due to Ply Cracking in Composite Laminates

Chandra Veer Singh1,*

Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Toronto, 184 College St, Suite 140,Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E4, Canada.

* Corresponding author: Tel.: +1 416 946 5211; Fax: +1 416 978 4155. Email:

Computers, Materials & Continua 2013, 34(3), 227-249.


A non-linear damage model is developed for the prediction of stiffness degradation in composite laminates due to transverse matrix cracking. The model follows the framework of a recently developed synergistic damage mechanics (SDM) approach which combines the strengths of micro-damage mechanics and continuum damage mechanics (CDM) through the so-called constraint parameters. A common limitation of the current CDM and SDM models has been the tendency to over-predict stiffness changes at high crack densities due to linearity inherent in their stiffness-damage relationships. The present paper extends this SDM approach by including higher order damage terms in the characterization of ply cracking damage inside the material. Following the SDM procedure, predictions are aided by suitable micromechanical computations of crack opening displacements. A nonlinear SDM model is developed and applied for multiple classes of composite laminate layups. Stiffness predictions for damaged laminates using the developed model are compared with the experimental data for cross-ply ([0m/90n]s), angle-ply ([±θm/90n]s), off-axis ([0/±θ4/01/2]s) and quasi-isotropic ([0/90/±45]s) laminates. A comparison with current linear damage models showcases the usefulness of the proposed nonlinear SDM approach.


Cite This Article

C. V. Singh, "A higher order synergistic damage model for prediction of stiffness changes due to ply cracking in composite laminates," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 34, no.3, pp. 227–249, 2013.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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