- The unilateral contact approach is used to model the initial debonding and subsequent delamination of two-layer or multi-layer symmetric laminated plates under transverse loads. The mathematical formulation of the approach and associated finite element model are presented. The bond material (or adherent) is modelled as a continuum that has a uniaxial (in the transverse direction) elastic response. The flexural behaviour of the plate is modelled by means of the Hencky-Mindlin type shear deformation theory. Two sample problems are presented. The relationship between the brittle fracture mechanics approach and the present approach is also discussed.