A study was conducted to analyze tapered composite laminates under tensile loading. A tapered construction made of S2/SP250 glass/epoxy laminate was used to achieve a thickness reduction using three consecutive dropped plies over a distance of 60 ply thicknesses. The principle of minimum complementary potential energy was used to determine interlaminar stresses. The interlaminar peel stress distribution shows a higher tensile intensity at the taper/thin portion juncture. The total strain energy release rate is determined using a simplified membrane model. Results are compared with a finite element simulation.
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