Failure analysis of bolted joints in cross-ply composite laminates using cohesive zone elements
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A strength prediction method is presented for double-lap single fastener bolted joints of cross-ply carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite laminates using cohesive zone elements (CZEs). Three-dimensional finite element models were developed and CZEs were inserted into subcritical damage planes identified from X-ray radiographs. The method makes a compromise between the experimental correlation factors (dependant on lay-up, stacking sequence and joint geometry) and three material properties (fracture energy, interlaminar strength and nonlinear shear stress-strain response). Strength of the joints was determined from the predicted load-displacement curves considering sub-laminate and ply-level scaling effects. The predictions are in a reasonable agreement with the experimental data.