- This paper describes a thermodynamics based model for viscoelastic composites with damage and illustrates its use in characterization of viscoelastic response of polymer matrix woven fabric composites subjected to loading at high temperatures. The characterization is conducted by an experimental method aided by finite element (FE) modeling. The experimental characterization is based on creep data obtained under constant loads of different magnitudes and at different temperatures, and on recovery data collected after unloading. A carbon fiber/polyamide resin woven composite with glass transition temperature (Tg) of around 380 C was used in the experimental program. A FE model was developed to determine the non-linear viscoelastic response by implementing incremental constitutive relations into an ABAQUS code. The laminate viscoelastic properties were obtained by finite element micromechanics analysis using the neat resin data as input. Comparing its results with creep-recovery test data at different temperature and stress levels validated the FE model. There are several factors affecting the viscoelastic behavior of polymer matrix composites such as temperature, moisture and stress level. Accordingly, a large number of tests need to be performed to characterize the viscoelastic response experimentally for each fiber-matrix combination. For this purpose an efficient and systematic experimental procedure was used to understand the effects of temperature and stress level on the viscoelastic response, to clarify the damage-viscoelasticity coupling and to determine the viscoelastic properties of the material system. 2006.