The damage initiation and evolution mechanisms in plain and satin weave composites were studied using three-dimensional finite element analysis. The tow paths of the weave were selected such that the wavy region of the tows were identical in both weaves. The damage initiation and evolution behaviors in these comparable wavy regions were compared and discussed in terms of stress components that initiate damage, the overall stress/strain relationship and the accumulation of the damaged volume in the warp tow, fill tow and matrix pockets. The results showed significant similarities in many aspects of the damage behaviors such as damage modes, stiffness loss and damage accumulation processes.

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