This paper concerns the optimal cooling of symmetric, balanced, cross-ply composite laminates and adhesive joints so as to minimize the residual thermal stresses upon termination of the cool-down process. The computations are based on a recently developed analytical scheme and employ up-to-date data on graphite/epoxy laminas. The calculations consider the thermoviscoelastic response of the polymeric resins and incorporate the temperature dependence of the coefficients of thermal expansion. It is shown that the viscoelastic behavior may contribute to a significant reduction of the residual stresses.

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