Many structural components, such as rolled sheets, directionally solidified superalloys and composites, are made of anisotropic materials. The knowledge of limit load is useful in the design and the sizing of these components and structures. This paper presents the extension of the modified mα-method to anisotropic materials. Mura’s variational principle is employed in conjunction with repeated elastic finite element analyses (FEA). The secant modulus of the discretized finite elements in the reference direction in successive elastic iterations is used to estimate the plastic flow parameter for the anisotropic components. The modified initial elastic properties are adopted to ensure the “elastic” stress fields satisfy the anisotropic yield surface. Using the notion of “leap-frogging” to limit state, improved lower-bound limit loads can be obtained. The formulation is applied to two anisotropic components, and the limit load estimates are compared with those using elastic compensation method and inelastic FEA.

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