You are on page 1of 9


Composite Stncctures 32 (1995) 3-11
0 1995 Elsevier Science Limited
Printed in Great Britain. All rights reserved
Dynamic analysis of open cracked laminated
composite beams
S. M. Ghoneam
Department of Production Engineeting & Mechanical Design, Faculty of Engineeting, Menoujia University, Shebin-El-Kom,
Composite beams of various orientations with fiber reinforced plastics find
increasing application in structures nowadays, for their light weight, high
strength and stiffness, and high damping characteristics. Determination of
the dynamic characteristics of cracked laminated composite beams (CLCB)
is essential not only in the design stage but also in the performance of the
structure system, since the presence of cracks, with various types of fiber
orientation, and boundary fixations of the beams has a dominant effect on
the dynamic nature of the system.
In the present paper, the dynamic characteristics laminated composite
beams (LCB) with various fiber orientations and different boundary
fixations have been presented and discussed in the absence and presence of
cracks. A mathematical model is developed, and experimental analysis is
utilized to study the effects of different crack depths and locations,
boundary conditions, and various code numbers of laminates on the
dynamic characteristics of CLCB. The analysis shows good agreement
between experimental and theoretical results.
Dynamic analysis of the laminated composite
beam is one of the most serious problems in
machine element structures. The analysis of
these elements and their dynamic characteristics
is of great interest due to its practical impor-
tance. Cracks which appear in composite
structures, boundary fixations, and code num-
bers change their dynamical characteristics due
to a change in its flexibility. The effects of
cracking on the behaviour of a structural beam
have been the subject of several investigations.
The cracks were modeled by a flexible element
whose stiffness depended on a simple stress-
strain problem. This model is sufficient for
simple stress-strain problems. The effect of
cracks on the dynamic behavior of a cracked
beam was investigated for an isotropic mate-
ria1.2-7 Lim & Tay introduced a constitutive
model of the damage state for composite lam-
inates, based on strain energy, to predict the
stiffness loss due to matrix cracking in cross-ply
laminated composite plate. The finite element
method utilizing conventional plane stress finite
elements is also applied to laminated beams9-14
with separate elements for each lamina. In Ref.
15, an example of the dynamic analysis of a
laminated composite cantilever beam of three
layers was discussed and investigated.
The present paper presents a numerical and
experimental analysis of eigen parameters on a
laminated composite beam with various orienta-
tions, carried out for different boundary
fixations, and in the absence and presence of
cracks. A mathematical model is developed
which represents the CLCB. The model takes
into consideration the effect of crack location
and size, fiber orientation, and boundary fixa-
tion. The experimental work is carried out on
five specimens with five layers of composite
laminated beam with different fiber orientation
and various boundary fixations. These speci-
mens have been manufactured using hand
layout techniques. The experimental tests are
carried out by using a hammer test and fre-
quency response function is displayed on an
FFT analyzer. The comparison between the
experimental and numerical results are investi-
gated, and the tight connection between them is
4 S. M. Ghoneam
Because of discontinuity of deformation in the crack element, a suitable shape function to express
the elastic potential energy and kinetic energy is difficult. Calculation of the additional stress energy
of a crack, however, has been studied in fracture mechanics and the flexibility coefficient expressed
by the stress intensity factor can be derived by mean of Castiglianos theorem in the linear elastic
In Fig. 1 (a) the CLCB is divided into elements. The behaviour of the element right of the cracked
element may be regarded as external forces, while the elements situated in its left as constraints.
From the equilibrium condition, the stiffness matrix of the cracked element with specified constraints
may be calculated as follows.
The strain energy of an element without a crack, ignoring shearing action, is:
V0=(M2L +A4PL2 +P2L3/3)/2(E *I).
The contribution of strain energy due to the crack in the absence of axial force is:
V,=b a
{[(K,,+K,,)2+K~p]IE*} da
K,,=(6Mlbh2) fir;,(s),
K~p=(3PWz2) JG F,(s),
K2p=(plbh) dz 25(s)
0.923 + 0.199 [ 1 - sin ( 7r.r/2)14
1.122 -0.561s + 0.085~~ + 0.18~~
In the absence of a crack, the flexibility coefficient for an element is
, P1=P, P,=M, i,j=1,2
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of CLCB.
Cracked laminated composite beams
and the additional flexibility coefficient due to a crack is:
a?i=aPiaPl 7
P1=P, P2=A4, i,j=1,2
The total flexibility coefficient is:
Cli,j=ClEj + Cfl,j i,j=l, 2
From the equilibrium condition (Fig. 1 (b))
[Pi,MiPi+lMi+I ]T=TI Pi+lMi+l]T
-1 -L 1 OT
0 -1 0 1 1
By the principle of virtual work, the stiffness matrix of the cracked element may be expressed as:
Suppose the crack affects the stiffness only. The difference between K, the stiffness matrix of the
CLUB, and K, the stiffness matrix of the LCB, is matrix K,.
The stiffness matrix of the LCB is given by
4446 *A 83G *A -39G *A -7G*A
12OL 120 12OL
7E I 16LG *A 7G*A
3L 120 120
4446 *A
3L- 120
-83G *A
where (Fig. 1 (c))
7E *I 16LG *A
3L 120
(E*I )= f: 2E*b dk+lyzdy+_
i (E*)k (d:+l-d:).
k=O 4 k=O
Referring to Ref. 17, the E * and G * are given as:
l=c+(& _ 2) CSS*+$; and
E El1
1+2v1* 1
G* El, %-
where C=cos 0, and SS=sin 0.
6 S. M. Ghoneam
By applying the mixture rule the elastic moduli of E-glass/polyester lamina are computed. The
volume fraction of fibers (I$) was obtained by a firing process and was found to be O-50. These
properties are listed in Table 1.
The inertia matrix, m, of the CLCB in the same form as the inertia matrix of the LCB, is given as:
128A 19A
PL 2441 0 -561
m4x4- --
1680 128A 0
symmetric 2241
where p is the density; its value is given in Table 1.
The eigenfrequency can be evaluated from the solution of the characteristic equation directly.
The characteristic equation for an undamped LCB may be evaluated as:
The characteristic equation for the CLCB is:
([E] -iim) [z&l = TO].
From eqns (11) and (12), the eigen frequencies have been determined for different boundary
fixations, and various crack depths and locations.
Table 1. Elastic moduli of E-glass polyester
Elastic modulus
El1 @Pa) EZZ @Pa) GIz Pa) v12 P (Kg/m3)
Results using mixture rule 36.75 6-67 34 0.26 1750
The test specimen is a beam 300 x 25 x 3 mm.
Five specimens with five layers were constructed
and manufactured using a hand layout tech-
nique, with fiber orientation sequences [0]5,
[30]5, [45]5, [60]5, and [90]5. Four boundary
fixations for the LCB were taken into account
as clamped-clamped, clamped-simple support,
simply supported, and clamped-free. The first
four frequencies are measured for different
cases of boundary fixations.
In the presence of a crack, the crack was
initiated for each CLB with a coping saw cut. It
was propagated successively with 2-5 mm steps,
and the values of a/h equal to O-1, O-2, O-3, 0.4,
0.5, and 0.6 were considered, where a is the
crack depth. The crack locations are chosen at
Z/L equal to 0.0, 0.25 and O-5 of the CLCB
from the left end of each specimen, where 2 is
the length of the beam segment to the left of
the crack site. Due to the difficulty of specimen
production, the measurements were carried out
for specimens [0]5, [30]5, and [60]5 with
clamped-clamped fixation, and specimen [0] 5
for clamped-free fixation.
The experimental set up is shown in Fig. 2.
The specimen is located in a test rig and excited
by impact hammer (type 8202). This resembles
an ordinary hammer but has a force transducer
(type 8200) built into the tip to register the
force input used to excite the sample at mid-
point position. The charge amplifier (type 2635)
is used to generate the signal from the hammer
to the dual channel analyzer (type 2034) at A.
The vibration response is registered by a
suitable piezoelectric accelerometer (type 4374,
weight 2.4 g). The vibration meter (type 2511) is
utilized in connection with the accelerometer to
generate the signal to the dual channel analyzer
(type 2034) at B. The frequency response spec-
trum can be obtained from the printer which is
supported by the desk top computer and the
dual channel analyzer.
Cracked laminated composite beams
Ged purpose
vibration meter
2511 lmpactbammer
/ 8202
/. I_ ,$
/ ,I \
5 Accelerometer
43 14
Q \
Fig. 2. The experimental setup.
In the absence of cracks in the CLB, the reso-
nance frequencies of the CLB of size
300 x 25 x 3 mm have been recorded and ana-
lysed for different fiber orientations and
boundary fixations at the same five layers. As a
sample of the experimental results, the fre-
quency response spectrums for the CLB with
orientation [45]5 and various boundary fixations
are shown in Fig. 3. The measured and com-
puted first four frequencies are given in Table
2. The experimental results verified the theoret-
ically obtained values from eqn 11. The
comparison between these results indicates a
good agremeent between them. It can be seen
that the frequencies of specimen [90]5 are
lower than those of the other specimen, and
specimen [0]5 has higher ones. The natural fre-
quencies in the specimen [0]5 are 2.3 times
greater than those in specimen [90]5. Changing
the fiber orientation of the CLB from [0]5 to
[30]5 decreases natural frequencies by 40%
approximately. The changing of the fiber ori-
entation angle in specimen [30]5 and specimen
[45]5 has an effect on the natural frequencies of
about 18%, for specimen [45]5 and specimen
[60]5 the effect is about 9%, and for specimen
[60]5 and specimen [90]5 the effect is about
3%. From the Table it can be noted that
increasing the stiffness of the CLB due to the
end fixation and fiber orientation has a promi-
nent influence in increasing the frequencies. For
instance, the specimen [0]5 with clamped-
clamped ends fixation has higher natural
frequencies than the specimen [90]5 with
clamped-free ends fixation. Thus the frequency
level may be controlled by changing the fiber
orientation and boundary fixation, and conse-
quently the results obtained are useful for the
designer in order to select the proper fiber ori-
entation and boundary fixation.
In the presence of cracks (CLCB), experi-
mental measurement has been carried out to
verify the developed finite element model of
CLCB. Comparisons between the experimental
and the finite element model results of the
specimens [0]5, [30]5, and [60]5 for clamped-
clamped fixation are presented. Moreover, the
experimental and theoretical analysis of speci-
men [0]5 for clamped-free is investigated. From
eqn 12, the eigen frequencies have been deter-
mined for different crack depths and locations
for the above mentioned fiber orientation angle
and boundary fixation. The experimental and
computed results are shown in Figs 4-6. The
computed values are represented by the
continuous lines, and the experimental meas-
urements are represented by the symbols. The
variation in the natural frequency is defined as
the differences between the natural frequency
of the CLB, a, and the natural frequency of the
CLCB, o, i.e. Aw=o--0,. The normalized
eigen frequency due to the crack is do/o. Gen-
erally, it is evident that the calculated values
agree with the experimental results. Figure 4
8 S. M. Ghoneam
12 Freq resp HI MAG Input Main Y: 5.6dB
Y: 20.0 dB 80 dB x: 76 Hz
x: 0 Hz + 3.21 Hz LIN
# A: 20
(a) Clamped-Clamped
W12 Freqnsp
y: 9.4 dB
MAG Input Main Y: -13.8dB
x: 56Hz
x: OHz+ 1.61 Hz LJN
(b) Clamped-simple supported
W12 Freqresp Hl MAG Input Main Y: -0.1 dB
Y: 9.4 dB 80 dB x: 36 Hz
x: OHz+ 1.6kHz LIN
(c) Simply supported
Fres =P
20.0 dB
MAG Input Main Y: 9.9dB
x: 12Hz
x: 0 Hz + 3.2 kHz LlN
(d) Clamped-free
Fig. 3. Frequency response spectrums for CLB with orientation [45]5 and different boundary fixations (fundamental
Cracked laminated composite beams 9
Table 2. Numerical and experimental values of the first four frequencies in Hz for various laminated codes and different
boundary fixation of CLB
Boundary fixation* c-c C-S s-s C-F
Lamin. codes Freq. no. Th.
PI 5
[ 3015
[ 4515
WI 5
157.0 162 108.2 110
432.8 433 350.7 355
847.6 862 731.6 736
1402.7 1412 1249.0 1255
93.5 92 64.4
257.6 262 208.7
504.7 510 435.5
834.9 838 743.4
76.6 76 52.8 56
211.1 212 171.0 174
413.4 416 356.9 360
684.2 675 608.8 612
48.1 51
155.8 158
325.2 330
555.1 564
67.1 68 46.3 47
184.9 185 149.9 155
362.3 368 312.7 318
599.2 608 533.7 540
69.3 70 24.7
276.8 278 154.7
622.7 628 433.0
1106.9 1115 848.4
41.2 44 14.7
164.8 166 92.2
370.7 375 257.8
658.9 660 505.2
33.8 36 12-o
134.9 136 75.5
303.9 306 211.3
540.0 545 414.2
30.8 32 11.0
123.0 125 68.8
276.8 278 192.5
492.0 500 377.4
29.6 32 10.5
118.3 120 66.1
266.1 272 185.0
473.0 482 362.5
*C=Clamped, S=Simple-supported, F=Free.
shows the variation of the first three eigen fre-
quencies as a function of crack depth for the
three values of crack locations for specimen
[0]5 with clamped-clamped end fixation. It is
clear that the fundamental frequency, in the
presence of a crack, decreases with an increase
in crack depth. For a given crack depth, the
fundamental frequency decreases as the crack
location nears the middle of the beam. For the
second and third natural frequencies, the gen-
eral trend of a decrease in the natural
frequency with an increase in crack depth is
observed. However, due to the nodes of the
beam for the second and third mode shapes, the
change in the natural frequency with the crack
location is not as monotonic as in the first mode
but depends on how close the crack is to the
mode shape node. The first three eigen fre-
quencies for the specimen
clamped-free fixation, and crack location at the
middle of the beam, is shown in Fig. 5. It can be
noted that the rate of change in the first fre-
quency is largest, followed by the third
frequency and second frequency respectively,
this is due to the crack hearing the mode shape
node. The relationship between the normalized
frequency for the first frequency (Ao/al) and
(a/h) for various fiber orientations is shown in
Fig. 6. It can be noted that increasing the fiber
orientation angle increases the rate of variation
frequency, as the fiber stiffness decreases with
increasing fiber orientation angle.
The dynamic analysis of laminated composite
beams with various fiber orientations and differ-
ent boundary fixations in the absence and
presence of cracks is investigated analytically
and experimentally. The fiber orientation and
boundary fixation of the CLB has a significant
influence on the dynamic properties of the
CLB, depending on the type of fiber and matrix
The element stiffness matrix of a CLCB has
been derived from an integration of stress fac-
tors. A finite element approach for dynamic
analysis of a CLCB has been proposed. Simple
and convenient calculation is its distinguishing
feature. The specimens of orientation sequences
[0]5 and [90]5 have a higher and lower fre-
quencies respectively compared with the
specimens of the other orientation sequence
10 S. M. Ghoneam
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
f 0.2
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Fig. 4. Variation of the first three eigen frequencies with
different crack depth of different CLCB geometril c ratio
(clamped-clamped, [0]5).
with the same boundary fixation, because its ori-
entations sequences are expected to make the
CLB more stiff and flexible respectively.
The increasing of the fiber orientation angle
decreases the eigen frequencies of the CLCB,
because the stiffness of the CLCB is inversely
proportional to the increase of the fiber orienta-
tion angle.
Pig. 5. Variation of the first three eigen frequencies with
different crack depth at Z/L=05 for specimen 1015
- (clamped-free). -
0.3 -
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
Fig. 6. Variation of the first eigen frequency with differ-
ent crack depth for different fiber orientations for
clamped-clamped at Z/L =O.
The presented procedure can be used to
identify cracks by linking the variation in service
of the composite structural beam natural fre-
quencies to the structural changes due to the
Ostachowicz, W. M. & Krawczuk, M., Vibration anal-
ysis of a cracked beam. .I. Computer Structures, 36
(1990) 245-250.
Qian, G. L., Gu, S. N. & Jiang, J. S., The dynamic
behaviour and crack detection of a beam with a crack.
J. Sound Vibr., 183 (1990) 133-243.
Rizos, P. F. & Aspragathos, N., Identification of crack
location and magnitude in a cantilever beam from the
vibration modes. J. Sound T/ibr., 138 (1990) 381-388.
Haisty, B. S. & Springer, W. T., A general beam
element for use in damage assessment of complex
structures. J. Vibr: Acost. Stress Reliability Des., 110
(1988) 389-394.
Gounaris, G. & Dimarogonas, A., A finite element of
a cracked prismatic beam for structural analysis. J.
Computer Structures, 28 (1988) 309-313.
Cracked laminated composite beams 11
Ibrahim, F. K., An elastoplastic cracked-beam finite
element for structural analysis. J. Computer Structures,
49 (1993) 981-988.
Abd El-Raouf, A. M., Ghoneam, S. M. & Belal, M.
H., An investigation into eigen-nature of constrained
cracked beams. Eng. Research Bull., 17, Part I, Fat. of
Eng., Menoufiya Uni., (1994) pp. 13-29.
Tay, T. E. & Lim, E. H., Analysis of stiffness loss in
cross ply composite laminates. Comp. Struct., 25
(1993) 419-425.
Zienkiewicz, 0. C., The Finite Element Method.
McGraw-Hill, London (1977).
Chugh, A. K., Stiffness matrix for a beam element
including transverse shear and axial force effects. ht.
J . Numer: Eng., 11 (1977) 1681-1697.
Epstein, M. & Huttelmaier, H. P., A finite element
formulation for multilayered and thick plates. Comp.
Structire, 16 (1983) 645-650.
Chen, A. T. & Yang, T. Y., Static and dynamic for-
mulation of symmetrical laminated beam finite
element for a microcomputer. J. Comp. Mat., 19
(1985) 459-475.
Chaudhuri, R. A. & Huttelmaier, H. P., Triangular
finite element for analysis of thick laminated plates.
I nt. J . Numer: Meth. Eng., 24 (1987) 1204-1224.
Yuan, F. G. & Miller, R. E., A new finite element for
laminated composite beams. J. Computer Structures,
31 (1989) 737-745.
Bassiouni, A. S., Gad-Elrab, R. M. & Elmahdy, T. H.,
Dynamic analysis for laminated composite beams. In
Proc. 6th AMME Conf., (1994) pp. 65-75.
Tada, H. & Irwin, G., The Stress Analysis of Cracks
Handbook, Del Research Corporation, Hellertown,
Pennsylvania (1973).
Jones, R. M., Mechanical of Composite Materials.
McGraw-Hill, New York (1975).