Prebuckling and buckling analysis of variable angle tow plates with general boundary conditions

Gangadharan Raju, Zhangming Wu, Byung Chul Kim, Paul M Weaver*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

120 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of variable angle tow (VAT) placement is explored for enhancing the buckling resistance of composite plates subjected to axial compression loading. The problem is relatively difficult to solve because of varying stiffness properties and requires prior prebuckling analysis to determine the non-uniform stress variation followed by the buckling analysis of VAT plates. A stress function formulation for in-plane analysis and displacement formulation for buckling analysis was employed to derive the governing differential equations of VAT plates based on classical laminated plate theory. The Differential Quadrature Method (DQM) is applied to solve the differential equations. The novel aspect of the present work is the use of Airy's stress function to model the prebuckling analysis of VAT plates which considerably reduces the problem size, computational effort and provides generality to model pure stress and mixed boundary conditions. DQM was applied first to solve the prebuckling problem of VAT plates subjected to cosine distributed compressive load/ uniform end shortening. Then, DQM was applied to solve the buckling problem of rectangular VAT plates subjected to axial compression under different plate boundary conditions. Results were validated with detailed finite element analysis and the relative accuracy and efficiency of the DQM approach is discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2961-2970
Number of pages10
JournalComposite Structures
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS


  • Airy's stress function
  • Buckling
  • Differential quadrature method
  • Variable angle tow composites


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