This paper provides an overview of the current approaches to predict damage and failure of composite laminates at the micro-(constituent), meso-(ply), and macro-(structural) levels, and their application to understand the underlying physical phenomena that govern the mechanical response of thin-ply composites. In this context, computational micro-mechanics is used in the analysis of ply thickness effects, with focus on the prediction of in-situ strengths. At the mesoscale, to account for ply thickness effects, theoretical results are presented related with the implementation of failure criteria that account for the in-situ strengths. Finally, at the structural level, analytical and computational fracture approaches are proposed to predict the strength of composite structures made of thin plies. While computational mechanics models at the lower (micro- and meso-) length-scales already show a sufficient level of maturity, the strength prediction of thin-ply composite structures subjected to complex loading scenarios is still a challenge. The former (micro- and meso-models) provide already interesting bases for in-silico material design and virtual testing procedures, with most of current and future research focused on reducing the computational cost of such strategies. In the latter (structural level), analytical Finite Fracture Mechanics models—when closed-form solutions can be used, or the phase field approach to brittle fracture seem to be the most promising techniques to predict structural failure of thin-ply composite structures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Applied Mathematics