Hide Table of Contents

Ply Angle

Laminates are generally stacked with plies of different orientations. You stack laminates with plies of different orientations when you need to optimize load-carrying capacity in different directions. Such stacking is necessary as laminates are subjected to complex external loading conditions


Note: Unidirectional laminates (same material orientation across different plies) are usually suitable for carrying loads in only one direction. They are usually weak in the transverse direction to ply orientation.

When you select the row of a ply in the Composite shell plies table, the program highlights that ply angle on the geometry by means of stripes. The ply orientation direction for each lamina, which is the X direction for material properties is highlighted on the geometry. The Y direction is transverse to fiber direction (on surface) and the Z direction is normal to the ply surface. The images show the X, Y and Z directions for ply angles 0 degrees and 60 degrees.

Ply angle: 0 degrees

Ply angle: 60 degrees

A composite triad is shown at the center of face. The triad has four arrows:

Shows the 0 degree ply orientation. The red arrow is aligned with the surface stripes.

Shows the 90 degree ply orientation. The green arrow is aligned normal to the surface stripes.

The blue arrow is normal to the surface. Mirror orientation flips the blue arrow direction.

Shows the ply orientation direction.

Related Topics

Composite Shells

Stacking Sequence of Plies

Adjusting Composite Orientation Options

Provide feedback on this topic

SOLIDWORKS welcomes your feedback concerning the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the documentation. Use the form below to send your comments and suggestions about this topic directly to our documentation team. The documentation team cannot answer technical support questions. Click here for information about technical support.

* Required

Subject:   Feedback on Help Topics
Page:   Ply Angle
*   I acknowledge I have read and I hereby accept the privacy policy under which my Personal Data will be used by Dassault Systèmes

Print Topic

Select the scope of content to print:


We have detected you are using a browser version older than Internet Explorer 7. For optimized display, we suggest upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or newer.

 Never show this message again

Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2012 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.