A constitutive formulation for a layered composite originally proposed by Christensen (1) is implemented in a displacement-based three dimensional isoparametric finite element. The element is tested against the much studied free-edge stress problem, and is found, in general, to have good agreement with published results using a single element through the thickness of the laminate, even in the vicinity of the free edge. In-plane stresses and through thickness normal stresses agree extremely well with previous results. The results for interlaminar shear stress are, however, somewhat lower than previously published. Reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.

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