SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

A Range of Practical Failure Criteria for Laminated Composites


The purpose of this paper is to clarify when and where various composite failure criteria are most appropriate, and why, based on structural requirements and the physics of failure. Structural requirements and the structural criticality of a given part determine the level of analysis detail appropriate in product development. Similar practical considerations suggest the level of analysis detail in phases such as predesign technology development and failure analysis. The level of analysis detail drives the choice of failure criterion. A modern understanding of the physics of laminated composite structural failure is provided as a basis for discussing the merits of various failure criteria. A wide range of failure criteria is cited (from physically and computationally simple to complex), and their advantages and disadvantages briefly discussed. Finally, decision trees are presented for the appropriate choice of a criterion, given various structural design scenarios.

Author Information

Rousseau, CQ
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX
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Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 291–319
DOI: 10.1520/STP38418S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5568-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3465-2