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Composite Laminate as an Orthotropic Material

A composite laminate is a special orthropic material that is modeled as a single surface with several layers of orthotropic materials. A cross-ply carbon fiber-reinforced polymer is an example of a composite laminate with orthotropic material properties for each ply. A rock is an example of an orthotropic material that does not qualify as a composite.

Differences between a composite laminate and an orthotropic material body:

Composite Laminate Orthotropic Material Body
Uses a laminated shell element formulation. Uses an element formulation appropriate to the selected body.
In addition to other stress results, displays interlaminar shear stress between two adjacent plies.
Delamination can occur between two plies with high stress values.
Interlaminar shear stress components do not apply for bodies defined as orthotropic materials.
Uses these unique failure criteria:
  • Tsai-Hill
  • Tsai-Wu
  • Maximum Stress
Uses these failure criteria:
  • Maximum von Mises Stress
  • Maximum Shear Stress (Tresca)
  • Mohr-Coulomb Stress
  • Maximum Normal Stress


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