Chair of Aircraft Structures

Project Laboratory
Research Projects

Mechanics of Composite Materials


Lectures + Exercises
Subject Designation
2 + 1


Subject Holder:



Familiarization with the basic expressions and methods used in the mechanics of composite structures.



  • Mechanical properties of fiber and matrix. Classification of composites. Types of reinforcement. Nomenclature.
  • Fundamental equations of micromechanics. Rule of mixtures. Halpin-Tsai equations. Expressions based on theory of elasticity.
  • Fundamental equations of macromechanics. Derivation of elasticity tensor symmetry.
  • Elasticity matrix of an anisotropic, orthotropic, isotropic, transversally isotropic material.
  • Transformation of mechanics properties - material system axes rotation.
  • Constitutive equation of composite materials. Derivation of A, B, D matrices.
  • Analysis of symmetric, anti-symmetric and other characteristic layering setups.
  • Stresses and strains in layered composites.
  • Thermal properties of composite phases. Thermal stresses in composites. Influence of manufacturing.
  • Failure criteria. Maximum stress criterion. Maximum strain criterion. Tsai-Wu criterion. Tsai-Hill criterion. Hashin’s criterion.
  • Firs-ply failure and last-ply failure criteria.
  • Damage in composites. Fiber breakage. Matrix cracking. Pull out. Delaminations.
  • Joints in composite structures.
  • Examples of composite structures.


Teaching material:

Mechanics of Composite Materials (in Croatian) - web contribution


Additional References:

  • Jones, R.M.: Mechanics of Composite Materials, Taylor and Francis, 1999
  • Hyer, M. W.: Stress Analysis of Fiber Reinforced Composite Materials, McGraw – Hill, Boston, 1998
  • Tsai, S. W.: Theory of Composites Design, Think Composites, Dayton, 1993
  • Niu, M.C.Y., Composite Airframe Structures, Conmilt Press, 1992
  • Middleton, D. H.: Composite Materials in Aircraft Structures, Longman Scientific & Technical, Harlow, 1990

Administrator        LAST CHANGE: 28.03.2017