A two-dimensional mechanical model is presented to predict the compressive strength of unidirectional fiber composites using technical beam theory and classical elasticity. First, a single fiber resting on a matrix half-plane is considered. Next, a more elaborate analysis of a uniformly laminated, unidirectional fiber composite half-plane is presented. The model configuration incorporates a free edge which introduces a buckling mode that originates at the free edge and decays into the interior of the half-plane. It is demonstrated that for composites of low volume fraction (<0.3), this decay mode furnishes values of buckling strain that are below the values predicted by the Rosen (1965) model. At a higher volume fraction the buckling mode corresponds to a half wavelength that is in violation of the usual assumptions of beam theory. Causes for deviations of the model prediction from existing experimental results are discussed.

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