This work presents a new procedure to deal with the delamination problem found in laminated composites, based in a continuum mechanics formulation. The procedure proposed obtains the composite constitutive performance with the Serial/Parallel mixing theory, developed by F. Rastellini. This theory characterizes composite materials by coupling the constitutive behaviour of the composite components, imposing an iso–strain relation among the components in the fibre (or parallel) direction and an iso–stress relation in the remaining directions (serial directions). The proposed procedure also uses a damage formulation to characterize the constitutive behaviour of matrix component in order to obtain the stress–strain performance of this material.
With these two formulations, the delamination phenomenon is characterized naturally by the numerical simulation, being unnecessary the definition of special elements or computationally expensive techniques like the definition of contact elements or mesh separation. Matrix failure, as a result of the stress state found in it, leads to a reduction of the stiffness and strength capacity of the composite in its serial direction. This reduction provides a composite performance equivalent to what is found in a delaminated material.
To prove the ability of the formulation proposed to solve delamination problems, the End Notch Failure test is numerically simulated and the results obtained are compared with experimental ones. The agreement found in the results with both simulations, numerical and experimental, validate the proposed methodology to solve the delamination problem.