- Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016. Limitations inherent in failure theories formulated on homogenized description of composite materials are discussed. Failure mechanisms in composite materials, as understood today, are reviewed. Based on this knowledge, arguments are put forth to abandon the classical approach to formulation of failure theories for composite materials, and to instead use a computation-based failure assessment methodology. Such a methodology is proposed. In conjunction with this, the idea of virtual testing to supplement experimental determination of material response characteristics is discussed.