A system of displacement equations of motion is presented, pertaining to a continuum theory to describe the dynamic behavior of a laminated composite. In deriving the equations, the displacements of the reinforcing layers and the matrix layers are expressed as two-term expansions about the mid-planes of the layers. Dynamic interaction of the layers is included through continuity relations at the interfaces. By means of a smoothing operation, representative kinetic and strain energy densities for the laminated medium are obtained. Subsequent application of Hamilton’s principle, where the continuity relations are included through the use of Lagrangian multipliers, yields the displacement equations of motion. The distinctive trails of the system of equations are uncovered by considering the propagation of plane harmonic waves. Dispersion curves for harmonic waves propagating parallel to and normal to the layering are presented, and compared with exact curves. The limiting phase velocities at vanishing wave numbers agree with the exact, limits. The lowest antisymmetric mode for waves propagating in the direction of the layering shows the strongest dispersion, which is very well described by the approximate theory over a substantial range of wave numbers.

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