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This chapter discusses the failure mechanisms associated with fiber-reinforced composites. It begins with a review of fiber-matrix systems and the stress-strain response of unidirectional lamina and both notched and unnotched composite laminate specimens. It then explains how cyclic loading can lead to delamination, the primary failure mode of most composites, and describes some of the methods that have been developed to improve delamination resistance, assess damage tolerance, determine residual strength, and predict failure modes.

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