The present paper proposes a new analytical model for predicting the effective stiffness of composite laminates with fiber breaks and transverse cracks. The model is based on continuum damage mechanics and the classical laminate theory. We derived damage variables describing stiffness reduction due to fiber breaks and its maximum value during ultimate tensile failure from the global load-sharing model. Furthermore, a simplified analytical model is presented for obtaining two damage variables for a cracked ply subjected to transverse tensile loading or in-plane shear loading. This model was developed assuming that the displacement field of the longitudinal direction can be expressed in the form of a quadric function by loosening the boundary condition for the governing differential equation. For verifying the developed model, the elastic constants of damaged composite laminates were predicted for cross-ply and angle-ply laminates and compared with the finite element analysis results. As for the appropriate expression of the effective elastic stiffness matrix of the damaged ply, we verified four types of effective compliance/stiffness matrices including the Murakami, Yoshimura, Li, and Maimí models. We found the Maimí model to be the most appropriate among these four models. Moreover, we successfully simplified the expressions for damage variables in the complicated infinite series obtained in our previous study. We also proved that this could contribute toward improving the accuracy of our analysis. After verifying the present model, the stress–strain response and failure strength of carbon- or glass-fiber-reinforced plastic cross-ply laminates were predicted using Maimí’s compliance model and the simplified damage variables.
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