A probabilistic approach is presented for predicting the applied stress at failure for notched and unnotched unidirectional brittle matrix fibrous composites. It is assumed that failure is caused by the transverse normal stress alone. The mean value of the applied stress at failure can be calculated for any test coupon once the distribution of the transverse normal stress is known. Results are presented for axial and transverse tensile loading of notched coupons and transverse tensile loading of unnotched coupons. The widely observed linear ln–ln relationship between applied stress at failure and notch size is predicted.

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