The compressive stability of anti-symmetric angle-ply laminated plates with particular reference to the degrading influence of membrane-flexural coupling is reported in this paper. A specific configuration of anti-symmetric laminate is dealt with in the paper and this takes the form [θ/-θ]n whereby 2n is the total number of plies in the laminated stack. With regard to compressive buckling the paper gives an indication that anti-symmetric laminates with 8 plies or more will yield performance levels which are almost identical to their symmetric counterparts. The degree of membrane-flexural coupling in the laminated composite plates is varied, essentially, by changing the ply angle and also by altering the number of plies in the laminated stack, for a given composite material system. The coupled compressive buckling solutions are determined using the finite strip method of analysis. In order to provide an adequate level of flexibility in the analysis procedure and to ensure a high level of accuracy of solution, the buckling displacement fields of the strip formulation are those which are described in a multi-term form.
Results are given for anti-symmetric angle-ply laminated plates subjected to uniaxial and biaxial compression and these have been obtained from fully converged finite strip structural models. Validation of the finite strip formulation is indicated in the paper through comparisons with exact solutions where appropriate. The natural half-wavelength of the compressive buckling mode of the composite plates is shown to be significantly influenced by variation in the ply angle. Increasing the number of plies in the laminated system is seen to reduce the degree of coupling and the critical stress levels are noted to tend towards the plate orthotropic solutions. The ply angle corresponding to the optimised, compressive buckling stress for any particular laminate is noted in the paper to be influenced by the support boundary conditions at the plates unloaded edges.