Interphases in a unidirectionally fiber-reinforced composite with hexagonal packing are modeled by the spring-layer model. The composite is subjected to transverse tensile loading. A critical value of the circumferential stress (σθ) at the matrix side of the interphase is taken as a criterion for the initiation of radial matrix cracks, while interphase failure is assumed to occur when the interphase strain energy density (U) exceeds a critical value. All numerical calculations have been carried out by the use of the boundary-element method. For a perfect composite, the results show σθ and U for various values of the interphase stiffnesses. For a composite that develops radial matrix cracking, U has been computed and the proclivity towards subsequent interphase failure is discussed. Conversely, for a composite that first develops interphase failure, σθ has been calculated to determine the tendency towards subsequent radial matrix cracking.
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