Composite Materials: Design and Applications, Third Edition, 3rd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Composite Materials

Design and Applications, Third Edition, 3rd Edition

By Daniel Gay

CRC Press

635 pages | 468 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466584877
pub: 2014-07-29
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Considered to have contributed greatly to the pre-sizing of composite structures, Composite Materials: Design and Applications is a popular reference book for designers of heavily loaded composite parts. Fully updated to mirror the exponential growth and development of composites, this English-language Third Edition:

  • Contains all-new coverage of nanocomposites and biocomposites
  • Reflects the latest manufacturing processes and applications in the aerospace, automotive, naval, wind turbine, and sporting goods industries
  • Provides a design method to define composite multilayered plates under loading, along with all numerical information needed for implementation
  • Proposes original study of composite beams of any section shapes and thick-laminated composite plates, leading to technical formulations that are not found in the literature
  • Features numerous examples of the pre-sizing of composite parts, processed from industrial cases and reworked to highlight key information
  • Includes test cases for the validation of computer software using finite elements

Consisting of three main parts, plus a fourth on applications, Composite Materials: Design and Applications, Third Edition features a technical level that rises in difficulty as the text progresses, yet each part still can be explored independently. While the heart of the book, devoted to the methodical pre-design of structural parts, retains its original character, the contents have been significantly rewritten, restructured, and expanded to better illustrate the types of challenges encountered in modern engineering practice.


"Very good illustrations on the problem setup, theory, and physical representation. Very easy to follow."

—Dr. Gang Wang, University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA

"This book covers the topics related to the mechanics of composite materials in a very simple way. … It is addressed to graduate and undergraduate students as well as to practical engineers who want to enhance their knowledge and learn the guidelines of the use of composite materials. … This book is…a good classroom material…[and] a good reference."

—Dr. Pierre Rahme, Notre Dame University, Louaize, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon

"The author has worked out many practical problems in closed form. Such solutions are useful to see the effects of parameters that can form the basis of optimization. Such observations are not always easy to do with digital solutions like those from finite element analysis. Another advantage of closed-form solution is its speed in getting the answers, and it has no numerical convergence issue. … This is an excellent textbook for teaching and also a reference for practicing engineers. I highly recommend it."

—Stephen W. Tsai, Stanford University, California, USA

Table of Contents




Section I: Principles of Construction

Composite Materials: Interest and Physical Properties

What Is a Composite Material?

Broad Definition

Main Features

Fibers and Matrices


Materials for Matrices

What Can Be Made Using Composite Materials?

A Typical Example of Interest

Some Examples of Classical Design Replaced by Composite Solutions

Main Physical Properties

Manufacturing Processes

Molding Processes

Contact Molding

Compression Molding

Vacuum Molding

Resin Injection Molding

Injection Molding with Prepreg

Foam Injection Molding

Molding of Hollow Axisymmetric Components

Other Forming Processes

Sheet Forming

Profile Forming

Forming by Stamping

Preforming by Three-Dimensional Assembly

Automated Tape Laying and Fiber Placement

Practical Considerations on Manufacturing Processes


Cost Comparison

Ply Properties

Isotropy and Anisotropy

Isotropic Materials

Anisotropic Material

Characteristics of the Reinforcement/Matrix Mixture

Fiber Mass Fraction

Fiber Volume Fraction

Mass Density of a Ply

Ply Thickness

Unidirectional Ply

Elastic Modulus

Ultimate Strength of a Ply


Examples of High-Performance Unidirectional Plies

Woven Ply

Forms of Woven Fabrics

Elastic Modulus of Fabric Layer

Examples of Balanced Fabric/Epoxy

Mats and Reinforced Matrices


Example: A Summary of Glass/Epoxy Layers

Microspherical Fillers

Other Classical Reinforcements

Multidimensional Fabrics

Example: A 4D Architecture of Carbon Reinforcement

Example: Three-Dimensional Carbon/Carbon Components

Metal Matrix Composites

Some Examples

Unidirectional Fibers/Aluminum Matrix

Biocomposite Materials

Natural Plant Fibers

Natural Vegetable Fiber–Reinforced Composites

Manufacturing Processes

Nanocomposite Materials


Nanocomposite Material

Mechanical Applications

Manufacturing of Nanocomposite Materials


Sandwich Structures

What Is a Sandwich Structure?

Their Properties Are Surprising

Constituent Materials

Simplified Flexure



Some Special Features of Sandwich Structures

Comparison of Mass for the Same Flexural Rigidity ⟨EI⟩

Deterioration by Buckling of Sandwich Structures

Other Types of Damage

Manufacturing and Design Problems

Example of Core Material: Honeycomb

Shaping Processes

Inserts and Attachment Fittings

Repair of Laminated Facings

Nondestructive Inspection

Main Nondestructive Inspection Methods

Acoustic Emission Testing

Conception: Design and Drawing

Drawing a Composite Part

Specific Properties

Guide Values of Presizing


Unidirectional Layers and Fabrics

Correct Ply Orientation

Laminate Drawing Code

Arrangement of Plies

Failure of Laminates


Most Frequently Used Criterion: Tsai–Hill Failure Criterion

Presizing of the Laminate

Modulus of Elasticity—Deformation of a Laminate

Case of Simple Loading

Complex Loading Case: Approximative Proportions according to Orientations

Complex Loading Case: Optimum Composition of a Laminate

Notes for Practical Use Concerning Laminates

Conception: Fastening and Joining

Riveting and Bolting

Local Loss of Strength

Main Failure Modes in Bolted Joints of Composite Materials

Sizing of the Joint




Adhesives Used

Geometry of the Bonded Joints

Sizing of the Bonding Surface Area

Case of Bonded Joint with Cylindrical Geometry

Examples of Bonding


Case of Sandwich Parts

Case of Parts under Uniaxial Loads

Composite Materials and Aerospace Construction


Composite Components in Aircraft

Allocation of Composites Depending on Their Nature

Few Comments

Specific Aspects of Structural Strength

Large Transport Aircraft

Regional Aircraft and Business Jets

Light Aircraft

Fighter Aircraft

Architecture and Manufacture of Composite Aircraft Parts

Braking Systems



Composite Areas


Rotor Hub

Other Working Composite Parts

Airplane Propellers

Propellers for Conventional Aerodynamics

High-Speed Propellers

Aircraft Reaction Engine

Employed Materials

Refractory Composites

Space Applications


Propellant Tanks and Pressure Vessels


Other Composite Components for Space Application

Composite Materials for Various Applications

Comparative Importance of Composites in Applications

Relative Importance in terms of Mass and Market Value

Mass of Composites Implemented according to the Geographical Area

Average Prices

Composite Materials and Automotive Industry


Composite Parts

Research and Development

Motor Racing

Wind Turbines


Manufacturing Processes

Composites and Shipbuilding



Sports and Leisure



Tennis Rackets

Diverse Applications

Pressure Gas Bottle

Bogie Frame

Tubes for Offshore Installations

Biomechanical Applications

Cable Car

Section II: Mechanical Behavior of Laminated Materials

Anisotropic Elastic Medium

Some Reminders

Continuum Mechanics

Number of Distinct φijkℓ Terms

Orthotropic Material

Transversely Isotropic Material

Elastic Constants of Unidirectional Composites

Longitudinal Modulus E

Poisson Coefficient

Transverse Modulus Et

Shear Modulus Gℓt

Thermoelastic Properties

Isotropic Material: Recall

Case of Unidirectional Composite

Thermomechanical Behavior of a Unidirectional Layer

Elastic Constants of a Ply in Any Direction

Flexibility Coefficients

Stiffness Coefficients

Case of Thermomechanical Loading

Flexibility Coefficients

Stiffness Coefficients

Mechanical Behavior of Thin Laminated Plates

Laminate with Midplane Symmetry

Membrane Behavior

Apparent Elastic Moduli of the Laminate

Consequence: Practical Determination of a Laminate Subject to Membrane Loading

Flexure Behavior

Consequence: Practical Determination of a Laminate Subject to Flexure

Simplified Calculation for Bending

Thermomechanical Loading Case

Laminate without Midplane Symmetry

Coupled Membrane–Flexure Behavior

Case of Thermomechanical Loading

Section III: Justifications, Composite Beams, and Thick Laminated Plates

Elastic Coefficients

Elastic Coefficients for an Orthotropic Material


Elastic Behavior Equation in Orthotropic Axes

Elastic Coefficients for a Transverse Isotropic Material

Elastic Behavior Equation

Rotation about an Orthotropic Transverse Axis

Case of a Ply

Damage in Composite Parts; Failure Criteria

Damage in Composite Parts

Industrial Emphasis of the Problem

Influence of Manufacturing Process

Typical Area and Singularities in a Same Part

Degradation Process within the Typical Area

Form of a Failure Criterion

Features of a Failure Criterion

General Form of a Failure Criterion

Linear Failure Criterion

Quadratic Failure Criterion

Tsai–Hill Failure Criterion

Isotropic Material: The von Mises Criterion

Orthotropic Material: Tsai–Hill Criterion

Evolution of Strength Properties of a Unidirectional Ply Depending on the Direction of Solicitation

Bending of Composite Beams of Any Section Shape

Bending of Beams with Isotropic Phases and Plane of Symmetry

Degrees of Freedom

Perfect Bonding between the Phases

Equilibrium Relationships

Constitutive Equations

Technical Formulation

Energy Interpretation

Extension to the Dynamic Case

Case of Beams of Any Cross Section (Asymmetric)

Technical Formulation


Torsion of Composite Beams of Any Section Shape

Uniform Torsion

Torsional Degree of Freedom

Constitutive Equation

Determination of Φ(y, z)

Energy Interpretation

Location of the Torsion Center

Coordinates in Principal Axes

Summary of Results

Flexion–Torsion Coupling

Bending of Thick Composite Plates

Preliminary Remarks

Transverse Normal Stress σz

Transverse Shear Stress τxz and τyz


Displacement Field


Constitutive Equations

Membrane Behavior

Bending Behavior

Transverse Shear Behavior

Equilibrium Relationships

Transverse Equilibrium

Equilibrium in Bending

Technical Formulation for Bending

Stress due to Bending

Characterization of Warping Increments in Bending ηx and ηy

Particular Cases

Warping Functions


Energy Interpretation


Orthotropic Homogeneous Plate

Sandwich Plate


Section IV: Applications

Applications Level 1

Simply Supported Sandwich Beam

Poisson Coefficient of a Unidirectional Layer

Helicopter Blade

Drive Shaft for Trucks

Flywheel in Carbon/Epoxy

Wing Tip Made of Carbon/Epoxy

Carbon Fiber Coated with Nickel

Tube Made of Glass/Epoxy under Pressure

Filament-Wound Pressure Vessel: Winding Angle

Filament-Wound Pressure Vessel: Consideration of Openings in the Bottom Heads

Determination of Fiber Volume Fraction by Pyrolysis

Reversing Lever Made of Carbon/PEEK (Unidirectional and Short Fibers)

Glass/Resin Telegraph Pole

Unidirectional Layer of HR Carbon

Manipulator Arm for a Space Shuttle

Applications Level 2

Sandwich Beam: Simplified Calculation of the Shear Coefficient

Procedure for a Laminate Calculation Program

Kevlar/Epoxy Laminates: Stiffness in Terms of the Direction of Load

Residual Thermal Stress due to the Laminate Curing Process

Thermoelastic Behavior of a Glass/Polyester Tube

Creep of a Polymeric Tube Reinforced by Filament Wound under Thermal Stress

First-Ply Failure of a Laminate: Ultimate Strength

Optimum Laminate for Isotropic Plane Stress

Laminate Made of Identical Layers of Balanced Fabric

Carbon/Epoxy Wing Spar

Elastic Constants of a Carbon/Epoxy Unidirectional Layer, Based on Tensile Test

Sailboat Hull in Glass/Polyester

Balanced Fabric Ply: Determination of the In-Plane Shear Modulus

Quasi-Isotropic Laminate

Pure Torsion of Orthotropic Plate

Plate Made by Resin Transfer Molding

Thermoelastic Behavior of a Balanced Fabric Ply

Applications Level 3

Cylindrical Bonding

Double-Lap Bonded Joint

Composite Beam with Two Layers

Buckling of a Sandwich Beam

Shear due to Bending in a Sandwich Beam

Shear due to Bending in a Composite Box Beam

Torsion Center of a Composite U-Beam

Shear due to Bending in a Composite I-Beam

Polymeric Column Reinforced by Filament-Wound Fiberglass

Cylindrical Bending of a Thick Orthotropic Plate under Uniform Loading

Bending of a Sandwich Plate

Bending Vibration of a Sandwich Beam

Appendix A: Stresses in the Plies of a Carbon/Epoxy Laminate Loaded in Its Plane

Appendix B: Buckling of Orthotropic Structures



About the Author

Daniel Gay has led the Laboratoire de Génie Mécanique de Toulouse, now the Institut Clément Ader, from its inception for over 15 years. A former student of the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, Dr. Gay has authored numerous articles, scientific publications, and industrial reports on composite materials and structures. He has taught at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels in many schools and institutions, including the Université Paul Sabatier – Toulouse III (UPS), Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (IUT), Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA), École Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE), and École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA).

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