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COMPOSITE MATERIALS

PROF. R. VELMURUGAN

Lecture 38
Module IV - Failure Theory of Composites

Failure Theory of Composites

For isotropic material, the load carrying capacity of a structure can be determined from the
principal stresses and ultimate tensile, compressive and shear strengths since the elastic constants
of an isotropic material are direction independent. However, in the case of orthotropic materials,
the strengths and elastic constants are direction dependent. Hence, different strength values can be
obtained for an orthotropic material depending upon the direction of the application of load. More
over uniaxial stress applied in any direction other than the principal material axes produces
multiaxial sstrains along the principal material axes of orthotropic material. Therefore, the
strengths of orthotropic materials must be predicted through an appropriate failure criterion.
Many failure theories are not general but are applicable only to some specific types of
composites. In this module, the theories used for fiber composites will be discussed. To use these
theories, applied stresses/strains are transformed into the corresponding stresses/strains along the
principal material directions.
Maximum-Stress Failure Theory:
It states that failure will occur if any one of the stresses (induced by the applied loads) in
the principal material axes exceed the corresponding allowable stress. Therefore, to avoid failure
all the following inequalities must be satisfied.

σ L < σ LU

(5.9)

σ T < σ TU

(5.10)

τ LT < τ LTU

(5.11)

where, σL , σ T , and τ LT are the stresses produced by the applied loads and

σ LU , σ TU , and τ LTU are the allowable stresses.

Dept. of Aerospace Engg., Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

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Dept. longitudinal fiber failure (5.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.20) Thus.16) σx < τ LTU sin θ cos θ (5. R. transverse failure (5. the safe value of σx depends on the fiber orientation angle θ. Madras 2 .2) that the applied stress σx should be the least of the following stress values to avoid failure: σx < σ LU cos 2 θ (5.. the applied stresses (i.19) if. σy etc) are to be resolved into the stresses along the principal material directions (i.15) σx < σ TU sin 2 θ (5. shear failure sin θ cos θ (5. σx . there is no interaction between the failure modes. it is to be noted that when the applied normal stress is compressive then the appropriate allowable compressive stress must be used. of Aerospace Engg. if the applied stress σx does not satisfy any of the above conditions then the following failures will occur. σx ≥ τ LTU then. σ L . σ T etc. if.14) It can be concluded from the equations (5. the stresses in the principal material direction are (using the stress transformation) σ L = σ x cos 2 θ (5. that is why all the inequalities should be satisfied simultaneously to avoid failure. Indian Institute of Technology. VELMURUGAN Here.) using stress transformation law.1) and (5.18) if.e.12) σ T = σ x sin 2 θ (5. If an orthotropic lamina is subjected to a stress σx making an angle θ with the longitudinal direction.13) τ LT = −σ x sin θ cos θ (5. Further.17) On the other hand. σx ≥ σ TU sin 2 θ then. While solving problem.e. σx ≥ σ LU cos 2 θ then.

the transverse tensile failure will occur and the lamina strength is calculated from σ TUt . sin 2 θ At intermediate values of θ. ε L < ε LU (5. as given below: ε LU = σ LU EL Dept. and γ LTU are the allowable strains As already stated in the maximum stress theory. ε T . ε TU . Therefore. the allowable strains can be replaced by the corresponding strength values. the in-plane shear failure will occur and the lamina strength is calculated from the expression τ LTU . Madras (5. of Aerospace Engg. cos θ sin θ Maximum-Strain Failure Theory: It states that failure will occur if any one of the strains (due to the applied loads) in the principal material direction exceeds the corresponding allowable strain. when the normal strain due to the applied load is compressive (shortening) then the appropriate allowable compressive strain must be used. cos 2 θ At high values of θ. as in the case of previous theory here also there is no interaction between the failure modes.23) where. due to the applied loads and ε LU .22) γ LT < γ LTU (5. ε L . to avoid failure the following inequalities must be satisfied. Again. and γ LT are the strains. the longitudinal tensile failure will occur and in this case the lamina strength is calculated from σ LUt . R. VELMURUGAN At small values of θ..COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF. Indian Institute of Technology.24) 3 . that is why all the inequalities should be satisfied simultaneously to avoid failure. If the material is linearly elastic up to the ultimate failure.21) ε T < ε TU (5.

the strains in the principal material directions are (using the strain-stress relations and the equation (5. of Aerospace Engg. R.5) and (5. both the maximum-stress theory and the maximum-strain theory will lead to almost an identical result.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.29) It can be concluded from the equations (5.2)) = εL 1 (cos 2 θ −ν LT sin 2 θ )σ x EL = εT 1 (sin 2 θ −ν TL cos 2 θ )σ x ET γ LT = 1 (sin θ cos θ )σ x GLT (5. with fiber orientation angle of θ with the longitudinal direction. but due to the Poisson ratio involved in the latter theory. It states that under plane stress condition the failure will occur when the following inequality is satisfied.27) (5. VELMURUGAN ε TU = σ TU γ LTU = (5.32) 2 2 As the material is assumed to be elastically linear up to the ultimate failure.25) ET τ LTU GLT (5. there may be a slight difference.31) σx < τ LTU sin θ cos θ (5.26) If an orthotropic lamina. Madras 4 . both the theories will predict differently. When the material is not linearly elastic up to failure. Tsai-Hill Failure Theory: This theory provides a single criterion to predict the failure of a lamina.30) σx < σ TU (sin θ −ν TL cos 2 θ ) (5..6) that the applied stress σx should be the least of the followings to avoid failure: σx < σ LU (cos θ −ν LT sin 2 θ ) (5.28) (5. is subjected only to stress σx. Indian Institute of Technology. Dept.

VELMURUGAN 2 2 2  σ 11   σ 11σ 22   σ 22   τ 12    − 2 +  +  ≥1 σ σ σ τ  LU   LU   TU   LTU  (5. the criterion becomes Tsai-Wu Failure Theory: This theory provides a single criterion to predict the failure of lamina. It states that under plane stress condition the failure will occur when the following inequality is not satisfied. 2 A1σ L + A11σ L2 + A2σ T + A22σ T2 + 2 A12σ Lσ T + A66τ LT <1 where. Madras 5 . If an off axis load σx is applied on the laamina.34) (5. This theory considers the interaction of strength values. R. The limitation of this theory is that it does not consider the compressive strength values of the lamina.35)   1  − '    σ TU  1 A11 A22 2 1 τ 2 LTU Dept.33) The above relation is valid if the material is transversely isotropic. Indian Institute of Technology. of Aerospace Engg.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF. If the material is orthotropic and the state of stress is plane stress condition the criterion is The point to remember here is that this theory will not provide the information about the mode of failure as in the case of maximum stress/strain theory because the interactions of the modes of failure are taken into account. A1  1   1  − '  σ  LU   σ LU  =  A11   1 =   '  σ LU σ LU  A2  1 =   σ TU A22  1  =   '  σ TU σ TU  A12 = − A66 = (5..

τ x z .36) where. of Aerospace Engg. the average inter-laminar stresses are defined by (σ z . (iii) Residual property method → In this method. In order to predict the initiation of determination at the free edges where inter-laminar stresses are vulnerable.τ y z ) dx (5. 2 2 σ z2 τ x z τ y z + 2 + 2 = 1 2 σ zU τ x zU τ y zU t (5. (ii) Limited discount method → Zero stiffness and strength are assigned to failed lamina for the transverse and shear modes if the lamina failure is in the matrix material. the total discount method is adopted. VELMURUGAN The general expression of Tsai-Wu criterion is obtained by substituting the values of Egn. Dept. ( 5. ( 5. once a lamina fails then its stiffness and strength in all directions are assigned to zero.. (i) Total discount method → In this method. If the lamina fails by fiber rupture. For the analysis purpose the following methods can be considered.38) critical distance over which the inter-laminar stresses are averaged. residual strength and stiffness are assigned to the failed lamina. the stresses and strains in the remaining laminae increase and the laminate stiffness is reduced. R.35) in Egn.34). Consequence of Lamina failure: After a lamina fails. Indian Institute of Technology.τ x z .COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF. Failure prediction for delamination initiation The delamination or ply separation is due to inter-laminar stresses. which can reduce the failure strength of laminas.37) 0 xc = 2*t. the following quadratic failure criterion is suggested. (5.τ y z ) 1 = xc xc ∫ (σ z . Madras 6 .

VELMURUGAN Problems: The material properties are. Springer publications. R. "Analysis and Performance of Fiber Composites". John Wiley and Sons. if the strength values are σ LU = 1200 MPa σ TU = 60 MPa τ LTU = 90 MPa References: "Mechanics of Composite Structural Elements".. E2= 15 GPa. H Altenbach. J Altenbach and W Kissing. Inc Dept. B D Agarwal. E1= 147 GPa. Indian Institute of Technology. For the lamina with orientation [45o]. L J Broughtman and K Chandrashekhara. of Aerospace Engg. G12= 12 GPa and ν 12 = 0.3 . Verify for failure through the different failure criteria. Madras 7 . find the lamina stresses due to the load of NXX = 100 kN/m.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.

σy = 25 MPa (Comp).COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF. σx = 50 MPa. τxy = 50 MPa (+ve) τxy L T 30o σx σy Solution: Case 1: Given data:The applied stresses. Case 1 : σx = 50 MPa. The allowable shear stress is 50 MPa. τxy = 50 MPa (+ve) Case 3 : σx = 50 MPa. σy = 150 MPa (Comp). the lamina will fail under the applied stresses using the maximum-stress theory. Determine whether..(Tension). (Tension) Dept.1: A unidirectional composite lamina is subjected to stresses as shown in Fig. Indian Institute of Technology. It has the allowable tensile stress of 750 MPa in the fiber direction and 50 MPa in the fiber transverse direction and the allowable compressive stress of 400 MPa in the fiber direction and 100 MPa in the fiber transverse direction. of Aerospace Engg. τxy = 50 MPa (+ve) Case 2 : σx = 100 MPa. R. 5.(Comp).1. σy = 25 MPa (Comp).(Comp). VELMURUGAN Lectures 39 and 40 Problems (Module IV): Problem 5. Madras 8 .

all the induced stresses are within the permissible limits. VELMURUGAN σy = -25 MPa (Compression) τxy = 50 MPa (Positive shear) The allowable stresses. stress-transformation matrix is used to get the stresses along the principal material directions. as per the maximum stress theory the lamina will not fail under this applied loading condition. Madras 9 . the fibers are oriented at 30o to the x axis. σLU = 750 MPa.39) Since. Case 2: Given data:- Dept.. (Tension) σ’TU = 100 MPa (Compression) τxy = 50 MPa (Shear) Fiber Orientation angle.48 -100 (C) MPa 50 (5. σL σT = cos230 o sin230o 2 cos30 sin30o 50 sin230 o cos230 o -2 cos30 sin30 o -25 -sin30 ocos30 o sin30 o cos30 o cos230-sin230 o τLT σ L    = σ T  τ   LT   cos 2 30  sin 2 30   − sin 30 cos 30  σL σT τLT sin 2 30 cos 2 30 sin 30 cos 30 2 cos 30 sin 30   50    − 2 cos 30 sin 30  −25  cos 2 30 − sin 2 30  50  74. of Aerospace Engg.55 = -49. θ = 30o Since. (Tension) σ’LU = 400 MPa (Compression) σTU = 50 MPa. Indian Institute of Technology. R.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.55 50 750 MPa < -7.

the induced shear stress exceeds the permissible limit.. Madras  − 50     −150   50    10 . R. Case 3: Given data:The applied stresses.40) Since.48 (5.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF. (Compression) σy = -150 MPa (Compression) τxy = 50 MPa σ L    = σ T  τ   LT   cos 2 30  sin 2 30   − sin 30 cos 30  (Positive shear) sin 2 30 cos 2 30 sin 30 cos 30 2 cos 30 sin 30   − 2 cos 30 sin 30  cos 2 30 − sin 2 30  Dept.95 σT = τLT -87. VELMURUGAN The applied stresses.05 MPa < -100(C) MPa 50 57. σx = -100 MPa. as per the maximum stress theory the lamina will fail in shear under the applied loading condition. Indian Institute of Technology. σx = -50 MPa. (Compression) σy = -25 MPa (Compression) τxy = 50 MPa (Positive shear) σ L    σ T  τ   LT   cos 2 30  sin 2 30   − sin 30 cos 30  σL sin 2 30 cos 2 30 sin 30 cos 30 2 cos 30 sin 30   − 100    − 2 cos 30 sin 30   − 25   cos 2 30 − sin 2 30   50  -400(C) -37. of Aerospace Engg.

5).42) ε TU= σ TU / ET= 50 /10 ×103= 0.5 ×10= 0.011 [shearing] (5.010 [shortening] (5. Madras (5. Indian Institute of Technology.1 will fail under the same loading conditions using the maximum-strain theory if : EL = 40 GPa.3 τLT MPa < -100(C) MPa 50 -18. ET = 10 GPa. of Aerospace Engg.3 Since. Problem 5. R. GLT = 4.5 GPa. the induced transverse compressive stress exceeds the permissible limit.55 MPa   − 7. ε LU = σ LU / EL = 750 / 40 x 103 = 0. ν TL = ν LT ET EL Dept.22 Solution: The allowable strains are first calculated using equations (1.010 [shortening] ε TU T (5.45) Case 1: From the problem 5. σ L    σ T = τ   LT   74.COMPOSITE MATERIALS σL PROF.005 [stretching ] (5.0188 [stretching] (5.43) 3 ′= σ TU ′ / E= 100 /10 ×10= 0.46) 11 .. νLT = 0. VELMURUGAN -400(C) -31.55    − 49. as per the maximum stress theory the lamina will experience transverse failure under the applied loading condition.7 σT = -168.41) ε′LU = σ′LU / E L = 400 / 40×103 = 0.48  From the stress-strain relationship.1.44) 3 γ LTU= τ LTU / GLT= 50 / 4.2: Determine whether the lamina explained in the problem 5.

0005 εT = (-87. Indian Institute of Technology.48  From the stress-strain relationship.55 / 40 x 103 = .55 / 40 x 103 – 0. ′ .47) ET = 74.55) / 10 x 103 = 0.49.0085 Dept.49.5 x 103 = -0.055 εL = σ L ν TLσ T EL − (5.55) / 10 x 103 – 0. σ L    σ T = τ   LT  − 37.055 x (.055 x (-87.95) / 40 x 103 – 0. Case 2: From the problem 5.22 x (-37.0017 On comparison of strains calculated and allowable strains.05) / 10 x 103 – 0.22 x 74. the lamina will not fail under the case-1 loading condition..COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.0. ε L < ε LU .1. Madras 12 . R.48) / 4.95) / 40 x 103 = .0021 εT = σT ET − ν LT σ L (5. εL = (-37.05) / 10 x 103 = -0. VELMURUGAN = 0.0. according to the maximum-strain theory.49) = (-7.0054 γ LT = τ LT GLT (5.22 x 10 / 40 = 0.05  MPa    57.48) EL = (.50) Therefore. ε T < ε TU γ LT < γ LTU (5.95    − 87. of Aerospace Engg.

and γ LTU (5. VELMURUGAN = 57.1.7) / 40 x 103 = . Madras 13 .48 / 4. Dept.3 From the stress-strain relationship.3) / 10 x 103 = 0. σL σT -31.3 MPa -18.3) / 4.0128 On comparison of strains calculated and the allowable strains. εL < εLU .3) / 10 x 103 – 0. γ LT < εT < ε’TU .7 = τLT -168. Case 3: From the problem 5. γ LT < γ LTU ε T < ε TU Therefore. ε L < ε LU . ′ .0001 εT = (-168.5 x 103 = 0. according to the maximum-strain theory. the lamina will fail under the case-3 loading condition.0167 γ LT = (-18.51) Therefore. εL = (-31.22 x (-31.COMPOSITE MATERIALS γ LT PROF.7) / 40 x 103 – 0. Indian Institute of Technology.0041 On comparison of strains calculated and the allowable strains. the lamina will fail under the case-2 loading condition.0.5 x 103 = -0. R. of Aerospace Engg. according to the maximum-strain theory.055 x (-168..

1 using Tsai-Hill theory.48  Dept. the lamina will not fail under this load.48  = +  +  −  − 7502 100  750     50    2 2 = 0..55   − 7.05  MPa    57.55 τLT -7.55   74. Case 2: From the problem 5. Solution: Case 1: From the problem 5.3: Redo the problem 5. σ L    σ T =   τ LT   − 37.48 σLU 750 σ’TU = τLTU -100(C) MPa MPa 50 2  74. Madras 14 .1.95     − 87. σL σT 74. As it is less than unity.55 = -49.1. of Aerospace Engg. Indian Institute of Technology.55*(− 49.2843 < 1 OK. R. VELMURUGAN Problem 5.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.55)   − 49.

006 > 1.05)   −87.48  = +  −  +  − 4002 100  400      50   2 2 2 = 2. Case 3: From the problem 5.4: Redo the problem 5.7 = -168. As.95   (−37.1.109 > 1.. VELMURUGAN ′  − 400 ( C )  σ LU     ′  = −100 ( C )  MPa σ TU τ   50   LTU     −37. NOT OK. Solution: Dept.05   57. Indian Institute of Technology.1 using Tsai-Wu theory.3 σ'LU -400(C) σ’TU = τLTU -100(C) MPa MPa 50  −31. NOT OK.7) *(−168.95) *(−87.7   (−31.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF.3   −18. it is greater than unity the lamina will fail under this load. R. Problem 5.3  = +  −  +  4002  400     −100   50  2 2 2 = 3. than unity the lamina will fail under this load. Madras 15 . σL σT -31. of Aerospace Engg. As it is greater.3 τLT -18.3)   −168.

33e-006 A2  1 =   σ TU   1  − '    σ TU  (5..00e-004 Dept. Indian Institute of Technology. of Aerospace Engg.55       − 7.010 A22   1 =   '  σ TU σ TU  (5.  σ LU   750          ′ σ = 400  LU    MPa          σ TU   50  Case 1:  σL    σT    τ LT A1  1 =   σ LU   74. VELMURUGAN From the problem 5.55     =   − 49.52) = ( 1 / 750) – ( 1 / 400) = -0.COMPOSITE MATERIALS PROF. R.55) = 1 / (50 * 100) = 2.54) = ( 1 / 50) – ( 1 / 100) = 0.0012 A11   1 =   '  σ LU σ LU  (5. Madras 16 .1.53) = 1 / ( 750 x 400) = 3.48     MPa      1  − '    σ LU  (5.

93 < 1 Therefore.05 MPa 57.019 < 1 Therefore. Madras 17 .1/2 ( ) ½ = -1.56) = . A2. VELMURUGAN 1 A11 A22 2 = − (5.48 The values of A1. Indian Institute of Technology.3 MPa -18.95 = τLT . Case 2: σL σT . the lamina will fail under this loading condition according to Tsai-Wu theory. R. Dept. 2 A1 σL + A11 σ L2 + A2 σT + A22 σ T2 + 2 A12 σL σT + A66 τ LT = 1.7 = -168.37.0448 < 1 Therefore.57) 2 LTU = 1 / ( 50 )2 = 4. A22. A12.3 2 A1 σL + A11 σL2 + A2 σT + A22 σ 2T + 2 A12 σL σT + A66 τ LT = 4.COMPOSITE MATERIALS A12 PROF. and A66 are irrespective of the loading condition. the lamina will not fail under this loading condition according to Tsai-Wu theory. of Aerospace Engg. A11.290 e-005 A66 = 1 τ (5.. therefore. the lamina will fail under this loading condition according to Tsai-Wu theory. Case 3: σL σT τLT -31.00 e-004 2 A1 σL + A11 σ L2 + A2 σT + A22 σ T2 + 2 A12 σL σT + A66 τ LT = 0. the values calculated in the case 1 will be used here.87.