Strength prediction of bolted joints in cross-ply laminates based on subcritical damage modelling
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A strength prediction method based on subcritical damage modelling is presented for doublelap single fastener bolted joints in cross-ply carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) laminates loaded in tension. Three-dimensional (3-D) finite element (FE) models were developed and cohesive zone elements (CZEs) were inserted into subcritical damage planes identified from X-ray radiographs. Strength of the joints was determined from the predicted loaddisplacement curves; scaling effects at sub-laminate and ply-level were also considered. The proposed method provides a universally applicable strength prediction tool for the bolted joints in composite laminates without referring to empirical correlation factors.