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Local buckling can cause large interlaminar stresses along the delamination front, which can lead to delamination growth. This paper examines several methods of calculating strain-energy release rates, which are often used to predict delamination growth. The thin-film plate analysis, which was the least expensive analysis to use, calculated the total strain-energy release rate GT quite accurately. However, the stress field along the delamination front is highly mixed mode and has no fixed ratio of GI to GII. Since plate analysis can only calculate GT, plate analysis would not be useful for accurate predictions of delamination growth if mode mix is important.
Research engineer, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
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