Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

A review on analytical failure criteria for composite materials

Department of Industrial and Information Engineering, University of Campania L. Vanvitelli, Via Roma 29, 81031 Aversa, Italy.

Fiber-reinforced composite materials have found increasing industrial applications in the last decades, especially in the aerospace and ground transport fields, due to their high specific strength. However, even though this property allows having a lightweight and strong structure, some critical aspects still limit their use. Most of these depend on several types of undetectable defects and damages, which could affect the residual strength of the composite structures. The paper deals with failure mechanisms involving composite materials under several critic loading conditions, with the aim to assess the limits of currently used failure criteria for composite materials and to show the actual request of developing new failure criteria in order to increase the effectiveness of current design practices. Nowadays, such design practice is based on a damage tolerance philosophy, which allows a structure to tolerate the presence of damages during its in service life, only if the residual strength is kept higher than specific threshold values depending on the damage severity. Hence, the main goal of such paper is to assess the failure criteria’s capability to predict the life of composite components under several quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Intra-laminar and inter-laminar failure criteria have been investigated and considerations have been provided about the possibility to model the post-failure phase and to implement them within numerical predictive tools, based on finite element method.
  Article Metrics

Keywords failure criteria; composite materials; damage tolerance; CFRP; delamination

Citation: Alessandro De Luca, Francesco Caputo. A review on analytical failure criteria for composite materials. AIMS Materials Science, 2017, 4(5): 1165-1185. doi: 10.3934/matersci.2017.5.1165


  • 1. Calomfirescu M, Hickethier H (2010) Damage tolerance of composite structures in aircraft industry. Internal Technical Report EADS-Defence and Security.
  • 2. Liu S, Chang FK (1994) Matrix cracking effect on delamination growth in composite laminates induced by a spherical indenter. J Compos Mater 28: 940–977.    
  • 3. Tsai SW, Melo JDD, Sihn S, et al. (2017) Composite Laminates: Theory and practice of analysis, design and automated layup. Composites Design Group, Stanford University, ISBN: 978-0-9860845-2-2.
  • 4. Shen Z, Zhou H (2017) Mechanical and electrical behavior of carbon fiber structural capacitors: Effects of delamination and interlaminar damage. Compos Struct 166: 38–48.    
  • 5. Tarpani JR, Milan MT, D S, Bose W. (2006) Mechanical performance of carbon-epoxy laminates Part II: quasi-static and fatigue tensile properties. Mater Res 9 (2): 121–130.
  • 6. de Paiva JMF, Mayer S, Rezende MC (2003) Evaluation of mechanical properties of four different carbon/epoxy composites used in aeronautical field. Mater Res 8 (1): 91–97.
  • 7. Abrate S (1991) Impact on laminated composites materials. Adv Appl Mech 44 (4): 155–190.
  • 8. Cantell WJ, Morton J (1998) The impact resistance of composite materials a review. Composites 22: 347–362.
  • 9. Sepe R, Citarella R, De Luca A, et al. (2017) Numerical and Experimental Investigation on the Structural Behaviour of a Horizontal Stabilizer under Critical Aerodynamic Loading Conditions. Adv Mater Sci Eng 2017: 1–12.
  • 10. Caputo F, De Luca A, Lamanna G, et al. (2015) Numerical investigation of onset and evolution of LVI damages in Carbon-Epoxy plates. Compos Part B 68: 385–391.    
  • 11. Caputo F, Lamanna G, De Luca A, et al. (2014) Global-Local FE Simulation of a Plate LVI Test. Tech Science SDHM 2(3): 1–15.
  • 12. Sepe R, De Luca A, Lamanna G, et al. (2016) Numerical and experimental investigation of residual strength of a LVI damaged CFRP omega stiffened panel with a cut-out. Compos Part BEng 102: 38–56.    
  • 13. Lopresto V, Langella A, Papa I (2016) Delamination on GFRP laminates impacted at room and lower temperatures: Comparison between epoxy and vinylester resins. AIP Conf Proc 1769: 737–749.
  • 14. Lopresto V, Melito V, Leone C, et al. (2006) Effect of stitches on the impact behavior of graphite/epoxy composites. Compos Sci Technol 66: 206–214.    
  • 15. Wang SX, Wu LZ, Ma L (2010) Low-velocity impact and residual tensile strength analysis to carbon fiber composite laminates. Mater Des 31(1): 118–125.
  • 16. Hashin Z (1983) Analysis of Composite Materials -A Survey. J Appl Mech-T ASME 50 (3).
  • 17. Yeh HY, Kim CH (1994) The Yeh-Stratton criterion for composite materials. J Compos Mater 28: 926–939.    
  • 18. Caprino G (1984) Residual strength prediction of impacted CFRP laminates. J Compos Mater 18: 508–518.    
  • 19. Cantwell W, Curtis P, Morton J (1983) Post-impact fatigue performance of carbon fiber laminates with non-woven and mixed-woven layers. Composites 14(3): 301–305.
  • 20. Esrail F, Kassapoglou C (2014) An efficient approach to determine compression after impact strength of quasi-isotropic composite laminates. Compos Sci Technol 98: 28–35.    
  • 21. Cestino E, Romeo G, Piana P, et al. (2016) Numerical/experimental evaluation of buckling behavior and residual tensile strength of composite aerospace structures after low velocity impact. Aerosp Sci Technol 54: 1–9.    
  • 22. Saez SS, Barbero E, Zaera R, et al. (2005) Compression after impact on thin composite laminates. Compos Sci Technol 65(13): 1911–1919.
  • 23. Li N, Chen PH (2016) Experimental investigation on edge impact damage and Compression-After-Impact (CAI) behavior of stiffened composite panels. Compos Struct 138: 134–150.
  • 24. Fong JT (1982) What is Fatigue Damage? Damage in Composite Materials, STP -775, K.L. Reifsnider, ed.
  • 25. Akira T (2010) Self-Sensing Composites and Optimization of Composite Structures in Japan. Int J Aeronaut Space Sci 11 (3): 155–166.
  • 26. Hojo M, Matsuda S, Tanaka M, et al. (2006) Mode I delamination fatigue properties of interlayer-toughened CF/epoxy laminates. Compos Sci Technol 66 (5): 665–675.
  • 27. Hojo M, Ando T, Tanaka M, et al. (2006) Modes I and II interlaminar fracture toughness and fatigue delamination of CF/epoxy laminates with self-same epoxy interleaf. Int J Fatigue 28 (10): 1154–1165.
  • 28. Tserpes KI, Papanikos P, Labeas G, et al. (2004) Fatigue damage accumulation and residual strength assessment of CFRP laminates. Compos Struct 63 (2): 219–230.
  • 29. Hochard C, Payan J, Bordreuil C (2006) A progressive first ply failure model for woven ply CFRP laminates under static and fatigue loads. Int J Fatigue 28: 1270–1276.    
  • 30. Miyano Y, Nakada M, Kudoh H, et al. (2000) Prediction of tensile fatigue life for unidirectional CFRP. J Compos Mater 34: 538–550.    
  • 31. Hosoi A, Sato N, Kusumoto Y, et al. (2010) High-cycle fatigue characteristics of quasi-isotropic CFRP laminates over 108 cycles (Initiation and propagation of delamination considering interaction with transverse cracks). Int J Fatigue 32: 29–36.    
  • 32. Tsai SW, Wu EM (1971) A General Theory of Strength for Anisotropic Materials. J Compos Mater 5: 58–80.
  • 33. Hart-Smith LJ (1998) Predictions of the original and truncated maximum-strain failure models for certain fibrous composite laminates. Compos Sci Technol 58: 1151–1179.    
  • 34. Tsai SW (1965) Strength Characteristics of Composite Materials. NASA CR-224.
  • 35. Azzi VD, Tsai SW (1965) Anisotropic Strength of Composites. Exp Mech 5: 283–288.    
  • 36. Hoffman O (1967) The Brittle Strength of Orthotropic Materials. J Compos Mater 1: 200–206.    
  • 37. Chamis CC (1969) Failure Criteria for Filamentary Composites. Composite Materials: Testing and Design, STP 460, ASTM, Philadelphia, pp. 336–351.
  • 38. Hashin Z (1980) Failure Criteria for Unidirectional Fiber Composites. J Appl Mech 47: 329–334.    
  • 39. Hashin Z, Rotem A (1973) A Fatigue Failure Criterion for Fiber Reinforced Materials. J Compos Mater 7: 448–464.    
  • 40. Bonora N, Esposito L (2010) Mechanism based creep model incorporating damage. J Eng Mater- T ASME 132: 021013.    
  • 41. Esposito L, Sorrentino L, Penta F, et al. (2016) Effect of curing overheating on interlaminar shear strength and its modelling in thick FRP laminates. Int Adv Manuf Tech 87: 5–8.
  • 42. Robinson P, Besant T, Hitchings D (1999) Delamination growth prediction using a finite element approach. In: Williams JG, Pavan A, editors. 2nd ESIS TC4conference on polymers and composites, vol. 27. Les Diablerets, Switzerland; p. 1–426.
  • 43. Liu D (1988) Impact induced delamination – a view of bending stiffness mismatching. J Compos Mater 22(7): 674–692.
  • 44. Allix O, Blanchard L (2006) Meso-modelling of delamination: towards industrial applications. Compos Sci Technol 66: 731–744.    
  • 45. Olsson DM, Falzon BG (2006) Delamination threshold load for dynamic impact on plates. Int J Solids Struct 43(10): 3124–3141.
  • 46. Davies GAO, Zhang X (1994) Impact damage prediction in carbon composites structures. Int J Impact Eng 16(1): 149–170.
  • 47. Jackson WC, Poe CC Jr. (1993) The use of impact force as a scale parameter for the impact response of composite laminates. J Compos Tech Res 15 (4): 282–289.
  • 48. Cowper GR, Symonds PS (1957) Strain hardening and strain rate effect in the impact loading of cantilever beams. Brown University, DTIC R28.
  • 49. Chen X, Li Y, Zhi Z, et al. (2013) The compressive and tensile behavior of a 0/90 C fiber woven composite at high strain rates. Carbon J 61: 97–104.    
  • 50. Yen CF (2002) Ballistic impact modeling of composite materials. Proceedings of the 7th international LS-DYNA Users conference. Dearborn, Michigan.
  • 51. Yen CF, Caiazzo A (2000) Innovative processing of multifunctional composite armor for ground vehicles. ARL Technical Report ARL-CR.
  • 52. Zhang X, Hao H, Shi Y, et al. (2016) Static and dynamic material properties of CFRP/epoxy laminates. Constr Build Mater 114: 638–649.    
  • 53. Al-Zubaidy H, Zhao XL, Al-Mahaidi R (2013) Mechanical characterisation of the dynamic tensile properties of CFRP sheet and adhesive at medium strain rates. Compos Struct 96: 153–164.
  • 54. De Luca A, Di Caprio F, Milella E, et al. (2017) On the Tensile Behaviour of CF and CFRP Materials under High Strain Rates. Key Eng Mater 754: 111–114.
  • 55. Daniel IM (2016) Yield and failure criteria for composite materials under static and dynamic loading. Prog Aerosp Sci 81: 18–25.    
  • 56. Reddy JN, Pandey AK (1987) A First-Ply Failure Analysis of Composite Laminates. Comput Struct 25: 371–393.    
  • 57. Reddy YS, Reddy JN (1993) Three-Dimensional Finite Element Progressive Failure Analysis of Composite Laminates Under Axial Extension. J Compos Technol Res 15 (2): 73–87.
  • 58. Pandey AK, Reddy JN (1987) A Post First-Ply Failure Analysis of Composite Laminates. AIAA Paper 87-0898, Proceedings of the AIAA/ASME,/ASCE,/AHS/ASC 28th Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference: 788–797.
  • 59. Reddy YS, Reddy JN (1992) Linear and Non-linear Failure Analysis of Composite Laminates with Transverse Shear. Compos Sci Technol 44: 227–255.    
  • 60. Ochoa OO, Engblom JJ (1987) Analysis of Failure in Composites. Compos Sci Technol 28: 87–102.    
  • 61. Hwang WC, Sun CT (1989) Failure Analysis of Laminated Composites by Using Iterative Three-Dimensional Finite Element Method. Comput Struct 33 (1): 41–47.
  • 62. Lee JD (1982) Three Dimensional Finite Element Analysis of Damage Accumulation in Composite Laminate. Comput Struct 15: 335–350.    
  • 63. Chang FK, Chang KY (1987) A Progressive Damage Model for Laminated Composites Containing Stress Concentrations. J Compos Mater 21: 834–855.    
  • 64. Huang C, Bouh A B, Verchery G (1993)Progressive Failure Analysis of Laminated Composites with Transverse Shear Effects. Composites Behavior - Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Composite Materials, Woodhead Publishing Limited, University of Zaragoza.
  • 65. Riccio A, Sellitto A, Saputo S, et al. (2016) Large Notch Damage Evolution in Omega Stiffened Composite Panels. Procedia Eng 167: 151–159.    
  • 66. Riccio A, Sellitto A, Saputo S, et al. (2017) Modelling the damage evolution in notched omega stiffened composite panels under compression. Compos Part B-Eng 126: 60–71.    
  • 67. Riccio A, Russo A, Sellitto A, et al. (2017) Development and application of a numerical procedure for the simulation of the "Fiber Bridging" phenomenon. Compos Struct 168: 104–119.    
  • 68. Borrelli R, Riccio A, Sellitto A, et al. (2015) On the use of global-local kinematic coupling approaches for delamination growth simulation in stiffened composite panels. Sci Technol 115: 43–51.
  • 69. Lamanna G, Sepe R, Pozzi A (2014) Tensile testing of hybrid composite joints. Appl Mech Mater 575: 452–456.
  • 70. Caputo F, Lamanna G, Soprano A (2012) Effects of tolerances on the structural behavior of a bolted hybrid joint. Key Eng Mat 488–489: 565–568.
  • 71. Sharif-Khodaei Z, Aliabadi MH (2014) Assessment of delay-and-sum algorithms for damage detection in aluminium and composite plates. Smart Mater Struct 23: 628–634.


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Zhihui Liu, Hongyong Jiang, Yiru Ren, Zhansen Qian, Fuh-Gwo Yuan, Energy-absorption performance of composite corrugated plates with corrugated-shape ditch plug initiator, Polymer Composites, 2018, 10.1002/pc.24924
  • 2. Aniello Riccio, Andrea Sellitto, Salvatore Saputo, Giovanni Conte, Mauro Zarrelli, Thermo-Mechanical Behaviour of a Composite Stiffened Panel Undergoing the Tail-Pipe Fire Event, Key Engineering Materials, 2018, 774, 101, 10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.774.101
  • 3. F. Di Caprio, A. Sellitto, A. Riccio, V. Acanfora, Experimental and numerical study of composite omega stringer–skin debonding under flexural loading conditions, Multiscale and Multidisciplinary Modeling, Experiments and Design, 2018, 10.1007/s41939-018-0039-3
  • 4. Giuseppe Lamanna, Francesco Caputo, Numerical Testing and Validation of LVI on Composite Plates, Materials Science Forum, 2019, 957, 358, 10.4028/www.scientific.net/MSF.957.358
  • 5. Mario Caterino, Alessandro Greco, Elena Laudante, Robotic Simulation Technique for Validating a Working Process on Composite Components: A Case Study, Materials Science Forum, 2019, 957, 340, 10.4028/www.scientific.net/MSF.957.340
  • 6. Falk Heinecke, Christian Willberg, Manufacturing-Induced Imperfections in Composite Parts Manufactured via Automated Fiber Placement, Journal of Composites Science, 2019, 3, 2, 56, 10.3390/jcs3020056
  • 7. Senqing Jia, Fusheng Wang, Lingjun Yu, Zheng Wei, Bin Xu, Numerical study on the impact response of aircraft fuselage structures subjected to large-size tire fragment, Science Progress, 2019, 003685041987774, 10.1177/0036850419877744
  • 8. Zhen-yu Wang, Jie Wang, Yun-hai Ma, The Evaluation of Physicomechanical and Tribological Properties of Corn Straw Fibre Reinforced Environment-Friendly Friction Composites, Advances in Materials Science and Engineering, 2019, 2019, 1, 10.1155/2019/1562363
  • 9. Giuseppe Petrone, A. de Fenza, Donato Perfetto, A. de Luca, A. Sorrentino, Francesco Caputo, Probability Ellipse Method for Damage Detection in a Composite Winglet, Key Engineering Materials, 2019, 827, 67, 10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.827.67
  • 10. Giuseppe Lamanna, Alessandro Greco, M. Manzo, Enrico Armentani, Constantin Gheorghe Opran, Fibreglass Reinforced Polymer Structure Response under Different Impact Scenarios, Key Engineering Materials, 2019, 827, 13, 10.4028/www.scientific.net/KEM.827.13
  • 11. N V Eremin, V V Moskvichev, A probabilistic model of fracture of the composite material of a composite overwrapped pressure vessel, Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 2020, 1431, 012020, 10.1088/1742-6596/1431/1/012020
  • 12. Alessandro Greco, Francesco Caputo, Mario Caterino, Sara D'Ambra, Marcello Fera, Elena Laudante, Composite Parts Assembly Operational Improvements, Macromolecular Symposia, 2020, 389, 1, 1900098, 10.1002/masy.201900098
  • 13. Aleksandr Cherniaev, Svetlana Pavlova, Aleksandr Pavlov, Valeriy Komarov, Prediction of Load-Bearing Capacity of Composite Parts with Low-Velocity Impact Damage: Identification of Intra- and Inter-Ply Constitutive Models, Applied Mechanics, 2020, 1, 1, 59, 10.3390/applmech1010005
  • 14. M. Tanasehte, A. Hader, M. Elkhal, Y. Hariti, H. Sbiaai, Y. Boughaleb, The study of elastic energy in composite materials with fiber bundle model, Materials Today: Proceedings, 2020, 10.1016/j.matpr.2020.04.351

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

Copyright Info: 2017, Francesco Caputo, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved