Evaluation of energy release rate-based approaches for predicting delamination growth in laminated composites

Barry D. Davidson, Simon J. Gharibian, Lijie Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


A variety of energy release rate-based approaches are evaluated for their accuracy in predicting delamination growth in unidirectional and multidirectional laminated composites. To this end, a large number of unidirectional and multidirectional laminates were tested in different bending and tension configurations. In all cases, the critical energy release rate was determined from the tests in the most accurate way possible, such as by compliance calibration or the area method of data reduction. The mode mix from the tests, however, was determined by a variety of different approaches. These data were then examined to determine whether any of the approaches yielded the result that toughness was a single-valued function of mode mix. That is, for an approach to have accurate predictive capabilities, different test geometries that are predicted to be at the same mode mix must display the same toughness. It was found that variously proposed singular field-based mode mix definitions, such as the β = 0 approach or basing energy release rate components on a finite amount of crack extension, had relatively poor predictive capabilities. Conversely, an approach that used a previously developed crack tip element analysis and which decomposed the total energy release rate into non-classical components was found to have excellent predictive capabilities. It is postulated that this approach is more appropriate for many present-day laminated composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-365
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Fracture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanics of Materials


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