Failure of laminated composites containing holes and subjected to tension or compression was studied. The major focus was to understand the failure mechanisms of composites induced by stress concentrations, and to determine the effects of ply orientation and geometry on the damage progression of the composites as a function of the applied load. A progressive failure analysis was developed which contained a stress analysis for calculating the stresses inside the materials at a given load and a failure analysis for assessing damage and the mode of failure as a function of the applied load. Tests were performed to evaluate the validity of the analysis. Some tests were stopped at a fraction of the total failure load, and X-radiographs were taken to evaluate the extent of damage and mode of failure. The predictions agreed favorably with the experimental results.

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