A continuum approach to the analysis of the stress field in a fiber reinforced composite with a transverse crack

Michael Ryvkin*, Jacob Aboudi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stress field in a periodically layered composite with an embedded crack oriented in the normal direction to the layering and subjected to a tensile far-field loading is obtained based on the continuum equations of elasticity. This geometry models the 2D problem of fiber reinforced materials with a transverse crack. The analysis is based on the combination of the representative cell method and the higher-order theory. The representative cell method is employed for the construction of Green's functions for the displacements jumps along the crack line. The problem of the infinite domain is reduced, in conjunction with the discrete Fourier transform, to a finite domain (representative cell) on which the Born-von Karman type boundary conditions are applied. In the framework of the higher-order theory, the transformed elastic field is determined by a second-order expansion of the displacement vector in terms of local coordinates, in conjunction with the equilibrium equations and these boundary conditions. The accuracy of the proposed approach is verified by a comparison with the analytical solution for a crack embedded in a homogeneous plane. Results show the effects of crack lengths, fiber volume fractions, ratios of fiber to matrix Young's moduli and matrix Poisson's ratio on the resulting elastic field at various locations of interest. Comparisons with the predictions obtained from the shear lag theory are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6826-6841
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number21
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2007


  • Broken fibers
  • Cracked composites
  • Higher-order theory
  • Periodic composites
  • Representative cell method


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