Effect of Ply Stacking Sequence on Structural Response of Symmetric Composite Laminates

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE 2014)




In this work, the effect of ply stacking sequence on the structural response of multi-ply unidirectional fiber-reinforced composite laminates was evaluated using finite element analysis. The objective of this study was to develop a computational model to analyze the stress response of individual plies in a composite laminate for a given stacking sequence. A laminated composite plate structure under tensile loading was modeled in ANSYS. Stress profiles of the individual plies were obtained for each lamina. An Epoxy matrix with both unidirectional Graphite and Kevlar fibers was considered for the model. Three dimensional sectioned shell elements (SHELL181) were used for meshing the model. Several sets of stacking sequences were implemented, symmetrical to the mid-plane of the laminate. Symmetric stacking configurations of 6 layers stacked in ply angles of [0/45/-45]s, [0/60/-60]s, [0/45/90]s, and an 8-layered arrangement of [0/45/60/90]s were modeled for the analysis. The layer thickness was maintained at 0.1 mm. The results were compared against an analytical model based on the generalized Hooke’s law for orthotropic materials and classical laminate theory. A numerical formulation of the analytical model was implemented in MATLAB to evaluate the constitutive equations for each lamina. The stress distributions obtained using finite element analysis have shown good agreement with the analytical models in some of the cases.