A micro-to-meso sublaminate model for the viscoelastic analysis of thick-section multi-layered FRP composite structures Academic Article uri icon


  • Classical ply-by-ply analysis of multi-layered thick-section composite structures with tens of layers through the cross-section is often impractical, especially when material nonlinearity and time-dependent effects are included. This study introduces an integrated micromechanical-sublaminate modeling approach for the nonlinear viscoelastic analysis of thick-section and multi-layered composite structures. The sublaminate model is used to generate three-dimensional (3D) effective nonlinear responses at through-thickness material integration points with given spatial variations of strains determined from the trial strain increments of the standard displacement-based finite-element (FE). The number of material integration points is determined by the resolution of the FE discretization of the composite structure. The sublaminate model at a selected material point represents the effective nonlinear continuum behavior in its neighborhood using the 3D lamination theory with uniform in-plane strain and out-of-plane stress patterns through the representative layers. Therefore, the sublaminate has first-order stress and strain paths and cannot recognize the local sequence of the layers. While this approach is very effective approximation especially in the case of a very large number of repeating layers using relatively few elements (integration points) through the thickness, it cannot be used to represent the interlaminar stresses or bending/extension/twisting coupling effects within a sublaminate. A previously developed micromechanical model by the authors for a nonlinear viscoelastic unidirectional lamina is used for each layer in the sublaminate. The proposed modeling approach is first calibrated and verified against creep tests on off-axis glass/epoxy performed by Lou and Schapery (J. Compos. Mater. 5:208-271, 1971). Analyses for different thick-section laminated structures are presented using the integrated sublaminate with both shell and 3D continuum elements. The proposed 3D nonlinear time-dependent sublaminate model is computationally efficient and robust in analyzing multi-layered composite structures having large number of plies. 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Haj-Ali, R., & Muliana, A.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Haj-Ali, Rami||Muliana, Anastasia

publication date

  • March 2008