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A Simplified Layered Beam Approach for Predicting Ply Drop Delamination in Thick Composite Laminates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-580
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials and Design
Early online date7 Jul 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Jun 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jul 2016
DatePublished (current) - 15 Oct 2016


The prediction of delamination onset is a challenging task in the design of thick tapered composite laminates, where multiple ply terminations (“drop-offs”) are present. This paper addresses the development of a global-local finite element-based design approach for tapered laminates, whereby layered Timoshenko beam models are employed to predict delamination initiation from individual drop -offs. This modelling strategy provides a fast and conservative method for evaluating the strength of tapered composite laminates. Parametric test cases are presented in order to validate the methodology and understand its limitations. Finally, the application of the tool to a relatively thick tapered composite test specimen comprising multiple ply-drops is demonstrated.

    Research areas

  • Composite, Laminate, Ply Drop-Off, Delamination, Numerical Analysis

    Structured keywords

  • Composites UTC

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Licence: CC BY


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