An exact solution for the postbuckling configurations of composite beams is presented. The equations governing the axial and transverse vibrations of a composite laminated beam accounting for the midplane stretching are presented. The inplane inertia and damping are neglected, and hence the two equations are reduced to a single equation governing the transverse vibrations. This equation is a nonlinear fourth-order partial-integral differential equation. We find that the governing equation for the postbuckling of a symmetric or antisymmetric composite beam has the same form as that of a metallic beam. A closed-form solution for the postbuckling configurations due to a given axial load beyond the critical buckling load is obtained. We followed Nayfeh, Anderson, and Kreider and exactly solved the linear vibration problem around the first buckled configuration to obtain the fundamental natural frequencies and their corresponding mode shapes using different fiber orientations. Characteristic curves showing variations of the maximum static deflection and the fundamental natural frequency of postbuckling vibrations with the applied axial load for a variety of fiber orientations are presented. We find out that the line-up orientation of the laminate strongly affects the static buckled configuration and the fundamental natural frequency. The ratio of the axial stiffness to the bending stiffness is a crucial parameter in the analysis. This parameter can be used to help design and optimize the composite beams behavior in the postbuckling domain.

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