An investigation was performed to study the delamination propagation induced by matrix cracking in graphite/epoxy laminated composite beams subjected to transverse concentrated loading. The major focus of the study was to fundamentally understand the interaction between matrix cracking and delamination propagation in laminated composites resulting from transverse loadings. A nonlinear finite element analysis combined with a failure criterion and fracture mechanics was developed for modeling the damage initiation and propagation in composite beams subjected to a concentrated line load. A contact analysis based on the Lagrange multiplier technique was also adopted for modeling the contactslip condition of delamination and matrix crack surfaces during loading. Results of the calculations based on the analysis were compared favorably with the existing data and the data generated during the investigation.
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