An accurate mixed-mode delamination failure criterion for laminated fibrous composites requiring limited experimental input

Barry D. Davidson, Wenming Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A mixed-mode delamination failure criterion is proposed that may be characterized using test data from only double cantilever beam, end-notched flexure, and single leg bending tests. For validation, a comprehensive literature survey is first performed to obtain toughness versus mode mix data for continuous fiber polymeric matrix composites, and the proposed criterion is then evaluated using those studies where sufficient data are reported. To this end, the criterion is used to obtain an expression for toughness versus mode mixity using only a subset of the experimental data that is presented in any given source. This is done using the toughness data from mode I and mode II tests that are performed, as well as the results from the test with a mode ratio closest to that of the single leg bending test. The failure locus predicted by the new criterion is then compared to the experimentally determined toughnesses over the full range of the experimental data. These results indicate that the proposed criterion is highly accurate for materials spanning a wide range of classifications of fiber reinforced polymeric matrix composites. Further, the accuracy of the proposed criterion is found to be equal to or better than other delamination failure criteria that have been utilized in the past, including those that use a great deal more experimental data for their characterization. It is concluded that the proposed criterion, which can be obtained from only a few simple tests, has predictive accuracy that is similar to that obtained using a failure locus that is fully characterized experimentally. A variety of practical uses of this new criterion are also described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-702
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Composite Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Bilinear
  • Fracture
  • Locus
  • Mixed mode
  • Mode I
  • Mode II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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