Free-edge stress fields in cylindrically curved symmetric and unsymmetric cross-ply laminates under bending load


In this paper, an analysis method for the determination of displacement, strain and stress fields in cylindrically curved cross-ply laminates under bending load is presented. The considered cross-ply laminates may be either symmetrically or unsymmetrically laminated and are clamped at one end while the other end is loaded by an evenly distributed bending moment. The analysis method employs a layerwise plane strain approach in the inner regions of the laminate in which the stresses in each layer are represented by adequate formulations for Airy’s stress function. In the regions of the free laminate edges where significant three-dimensional and possibly singular interlaminar stress fields are to be expected, the plane-strain approach is upgraded by a layerwise displacement-based formulation wherein the physical laminate layers are discretized into a number of mathematical layers with respect to the thickness direction. The governing differential equations for the unknown additional displacement functions with respect to the width coordinate in the form of the Euler-Lagrange equations stemming from the underlying variational statement can be solved exactly and eventually lead to an eigenvalue problem that needs to be solved numerically. Usage of continuity conditions between the individual laminate layers and formulation of adequate boundary conditions at the free edges in an integral sense then lead to complete representations for displacements, strains and stresses at every location in the considered laminate. While the analysis approach relies on a discretization of the laminate into a number of mathematical layers with respect to the thickness direction and further requires a numerical solution of a quadratic eigenvalue problem, it provides closed-form analytical solutions concerning the width direction and can thus be classified as being a semi-analytical solution. The presented analysis method is compared to the results of comparative finite element simulations and is shown to be in good agreement, however with only a fraction of the computational effort that is required for according finite element simulations.
QR Code: Link to publication