Three-dimensional invariant-based failure criteria for fibre-reinforced composites

P. P. Camanho*, A. Arteiro, A. R. Melro, G. Catalanotti, M. Vogler

*Corresponding author for this work

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

111 Citations (Scopus)


A new three-dimensional failure criteria for fibre-reinforced composite materials based on structural tensors is presented. The transverse and the longitudinal failure mechanisms are formulated considering different criteria: for the transverse failure mechanisms, the proposed three-dimensional invariant-based criterion is formulated directly from invariant theory. Regarding the criteria for longitudinal failure, tensile fracture in the fibre direction is predicted using a noninteracting maximum allowable strain criterion. Longitudinal compressive failure is predicted using a three-dimensional kinking model based on the invariant failure criteria formulated for transverse fracture. The proposed kinking model is able to account for the nonlinear shear response typically observed in fibre-reinforced polymers. For validation, the failure envelopes for several fibre-reinforced polymers under different stress states are generated and compared with the test data available in the literature. For more complex three-dimensional stress states, where the test data available shows large scatter or is not available at all, a computational micro-mechanics framework is used to validate the failure criteria. It is observed that, in the case of the IM7/8552 carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, the effect of the nonlinear shear behaviour in the failure loci is negligible. In general, the failure predictions were in good agreement with previous three-dimensional failure criteria and experimental data. The computational micro-mechanics framework is shown to be a very useful tool to validate failure criteria under complex three-dimensional stress states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-107
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Composite materials
  • Failure
  • Fibre reinforced
  • Invariant
  • Micro-mechanics


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