A quick procedure to predict free-edge delamination in thin-ply laminates under tension

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Delaminations at the free-edges of a laminated composite under tension can be triggered by transverse cracks or by high interlaminar stresses. The capability for predicting these phenomena when the ply thickness is reduced (thin-ply laminates) is particularly challenging because damage mechanisms are delayed or even suppressed. In this work, an existing energy-based failure criterion and a simplified finite element model with cohesive elements are combined to develop a computationally inexpensive predictive tool. Its comparison with experimental data demonstrates that this approach captures the trends of the critical strain for delamination with respect to ply thickness and ply location and the quantitative agreement with the predictions is satisfactory ​
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