Diffuse delamination induced by transverse cracking is usually the secondary damage mode when a composite laminate experiences tensile loading. The fist damage mechanism in such a laminate is transverse cracking which has been widely investigated with both analytical methods and " mechanism-based" constitutive laws. Delamination induced by matrix cracking is already studied extensively by analytical approaches, however, a proper homogenization way has not been proposed yet. In this paper, a modification to an available cohesive constitutive law is proposed which is capable of considering the effect of diffuse delamination without the necessity of consideration of an actual discontinuity between the layers. The proposed constitutive law is then compared against its equivalent models containing interlaminar discontinuity and it is shown that the obtained results from both models are in good. Then the proposed modification is used in Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) specimen and the obtained results are found coincident with the equivalent model with diffuse discontinuities at the interface. Finally, a damaged cross-ply laminate is modeled under the boundary conditions of tensile loading and also 3-point bending with and without the proposed cohesive modification. In tensile loading, the results of both cases are similar; however, it is shown that in bending, the unmodified cohesive law predicts the lateral stiffness larger than the proposed modification. The lateral stiffness of the equivalent model with discontinuities as crack indicates that the proposed modification is able to properly consider the lateral stiffness decrease.
- composite laminates
- diffuse delmination