Micro-mechanical analysis of the in situ effect in polymer composite laminates

A. Arteiro, G. Catalanotti, A. R. Melro, P. Linde, P. P. Camanho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


A micro-mechanical finite element model of a composite sublaminate is proposed to study the mechanical response of ultra-thin plies, consisting of a representative volume element of a 90° thin lamina in-between two homogenised ±θ° plies. Random fibre distributions, materially and statistically equivalent to real distributions, are analysed. A three-dimensional computational micro-mechanics framework, with a special focus on the elastic-plastic and damage constitutive behaviours of the matrix and on the response of the fibre-matrix interface, is used in the present analysis. Varying the 90° ply thickness, it is possible to assess its effect on the mechanical response of laminated composites - the in situ effect. The proposed framework is able to accurately represent the micro-mechanical response of ultra-low grades, including (i) the mechanics of transverse cracking onset and propagation, (ii) the constraining effect observed in the laminae embedded in multidirectional laminates, (iii) the gradual, slow stress relaxation and progressive transverse cracking observed in very thin plies, and consequent increase of the crack density, (iv) the reduction in crack-opening displacement of the transverse cracks with ply thinness, (v) the formation of thin necks of matrix material around the regions where interfacial damage is more pronounced, and (vi) the in situ strengths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-840
Number of pages14
JournalComposite Structures
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • FEA
  • In situ effect
  • Laminates
  • Micro-mechanics


Dive into the research topics of 'Micro-mechanical analysis of the in situ effect in polymer composite laminates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this