Composite laminates

Composite laminates

In materials science, Composite laminates are assemblies of layers of fibrous composite materials which can be joined to provide required engineering properties, including in-plane stiffness, bending stiffness, strength, and coefficient of thermal expansion.

The individual layers consist of high-modulus, high-strength fibers in a polymeric, metallic, or ceramic matrix material. Typical fibers used include graphite, glass, boron, and silicon carbide, and some matrix materials are epoxies, polyimides, aluminium, titanium, and alumina.

Layers of different materials may be used, resulting in a hybrid laminate. The individual layers generally are orthotropic (that is, with principal properties in orthogonal directions) or transversely isotropic (with isotropic properties in the transverse plane) with the laminate then exhibiting anisotropic (with variable direction of principal properties), orthotropic, or quasi-isotropic properties. Quasi-isotropic laminates exhibit isotropic (that is, independent of direction) inplane response but are not restricted to isotropic out-of-plane (bending) response. Depending upon the stacking sequence of the individual layers, the laminate may exhibit coupling between inplane and out-of-plane response. An example of bending-stretching coupling is the presence of curvature developing as a result of inplane loading.

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