The attenuation of self-equilibrated edge stress states into the interior of a laminated plate composed of an arbitrary number of bonded, elastic, anisotropic layers is investigated in the context of Saint-Venant’s principle using the exponential decay results of Toupin, Knowles, and Horgan. To model the plate’s behavior, a semianalytical method is used with finite element interpolations over the thickness and exponential decay into the plate’s interior. The formulation leads to a second-order algebraic eigensystem whose eigenvalues are the characteristic inverse decay lengths, and corresponding right eigenvectors depict the displacement distributions of self-equilibrated traction states. Orthogonality relations between these right and left eigenvectors of the adjoint system are established. An eigenvector expansion for representing arbitrary self-equilibrated edge tractions is then presented. This approach is useful in revealing the interlaminar effects and their decay rates in a laminated composite plate under plane strain. Two examples are provided where the interlaminar phenomena due to eigenstates of self-equilibrated edge stress are illustrated.

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