Efficient and accurate solutions of the interlaminar stresses in a layered beam under a temperature loading are obtained by a variational method using stress functions and the principle of complementary virtual work. Polynomial expansions of the fifth or lower degrees are used to approximate the variation of the stress functions in the thickness direction of each layer. Comparison of the solutions of the various orders with the existing numerical and analytical solutions indicates that the variational solutions converge rapidly as the degree of the polynomial expansion increases and that even the lowest-order variational solutions yield satisfactory results for the interlaminar stresses. Over short segments of the interface adjacent to the free edge, the resultant forces of the interlaminar normal and shearing stresses are given by the first-order derivatives of the stress functions. These global measures of the severity of interlaminar peeling and shearing action are predicted accurately by the lowest-order variational solution.

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