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The width and loading conditions effects on free-edge stress fields in composite laminates are investigated by using a three-dimensional finite element analysis. The analysis includes a special free-edge region refinement or superelement with progressive substructuring (mesh refinement) and finite thickness interply layers. The different loading conditions include in-plane and out-of-plane bending, combined axial tension and in-plane shear, twisting, uniform temperature, and uniform moisture. Results obtained indicate that axial tension causes the smallest magnitude of interlaminar free edge stress compared to other loading conditions; laminates with practical dimensions may not delaminate because of free edge stresses alone since the magnitude of these stresses are found to be quite insignificant.
Senior aerospace scientist, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH
Senior research associate, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
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