Modelling delamination onset and growth in pin loaded composite laminates
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A three-dimensional (3D) finite element (FE) model is created with cohesive zone elements (CZE) to simulate a mechanically fastened [0 degrees/90 degrees](s) pin-loaded joint in a composite laminate. The model incorporates fully integrated solid elements in the pin-loaded area to accurately capture the high stress gradients. Contact based cohesive elements with a bilinear traction-separation law are inserted between the layers to capture the onset and growth of delamination. The stress distribution around the pin-loaded hole was verified with the widely used cosine stress distribution model. Results from the FE model show that delamination damage initiated at the point of maximum average shear stress at the 0 degrees/90 degrees interface. The delaminated area develops an elliptical shape which grows in a non-self similar manner with increasing pin displacement. It is concluded that a progressive damage model should be included to provide a full understanding of the failure sequence, work that the authors are currently engaged with.