The onset of buckling in square laminated multi-layered composite plates, subject to unidirectional in-plane loads, is investigated within the framework of a generalized higher-order shear deformation theory suitable to capture significant transverse shear and thickness-wise deformation effects. The displacement field is expanded in a Taylor series of the thickness coordinate with arbitrary polynomial degree; in turn, the series coefficients, expressed as a superposition of admissible functions, are determined according to the Rayleigh-Ritz method. Truly higher-order polynomial terms, along with a sufficient number of in-plane admissible functions, are shown to be necessary for convergence towards the fundamental buckling load multiplier. As a by-product, reduced-order models are identified for various plate geometries and lamination schemes. The sensitivity of the lowest buckling load with respect to the nondimensional parameters (the thickness ratio, the ratio between the elastic moduli, the ply angle) is investigated. In particular, the attention is focused on the cross-over phenomenon between the lowest two buckling eigenvalues in multi-layered composite square plates with different lamination schemes. The presented results shed light onto the buckling behavior of thick shear-deformable multi-layered plates. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
A generalized higher-order theory for buckling of thick multi-layered composite plates with normal and transverse shear strains / Lars, Fiedler; Lacarbonara, Walter; Vestroni, Fabrizio. - In: COMPOSITE STRUCTURES. - ISSN 0263-8223. - STAMPA. - 92:12(2010), pp. 3011-3019. [10.1016/j.compstruct.2010.05.017]