Buckling of nano-fibre reinforced composites: A re-examination of elastic buckling

R. Parnes*, A. Chiskis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elastic buckling of layered/fibre reinforced composites is investigated. Assuming the existence of both shear and transverse modes of failure, the fibre is analysed as a layer embedded in a matrix. Interacting stresses, acting at the interfaces are determined from an exact derived stress field in the matrix. It is shown that buckling can occur only in the shear buckling mode and that the transverse buckling mode is spurious. As opposed to the well known Rosen shear buckling mode solution (predicated on an infinite buckling wavelength), shear buckling is shown to exist under two régimes: buckling of dilute composites with finite wavelengths and buckling of non-dilute composites with infinite wavelengths. Based on the analysis, a model is constructed which defines the fibre concentration at which the transition between the two régimes occurs. The buckling strains are shown to be (approximately) constant for dilute composites and, in the case of very stiff fibres, to have realistic values compatible with elastic behaviour. For the case of non-dilute composites, the strains are found to be in agreement with those given by the Rosen shear buckling solution. Numerical results for the buckling strains and stresses are presented and compared with the Rosen solution. These reveal that the Rosen solution is valid only for the case of non-dilute composites. The investigation demonstrates that elastic buckling may be a dominant failure mechanism of composites consisting of very stiff fibres fabricated in the framework of nano-technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-879
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • A. Buckling
  • A. Microstructures
  • B. Fibre-reinforced composite material
  • B. Layered material


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