Nonlinear dynamics of a composite column loaded by axial periodic force is presented in the paper. The simply supported channel column is made of several layers of a laminate with an general arrangement, leading to mechanical deformation couplings. A reduced model of the column is represented by a set of nonlinear equations which includes geometric nonlinear terms and parametric excitation. For the selected configuration of the composite structure parametric instability zones and vibration modes coupling occur. In contrast to isotropic materials, a modification of the reinforcing fibres layout results in a change of structure dynamic properties and a location of parametric resonance zones. Furthermore, buckling phenomenon may occur through various scenarios, by the global or local mode activation. The effect of the composite configuration on the principal parametric resonance zones is presented.

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