Ceramic-matrix composites generally exhibit matrix and/or interface damage well before final failure because of the low strain capability of the brittle matrix and weak interfacial bonding. These damages have a significant influence on the stress-strain behavior as well as on the ultimate strength of the composite. The failure process in a multidirectional laminate is further complicated by its dependence on ply orientations and stacking sequence Reported in this paper are the results of both analytical and experimental investigations carried out in an attempt to understand the initiation and propagation of damage in a [0/90]3S cross-ply laminate. A glass-ceramic matrix composite reinforced with silicon carbide (Nicalon) fibers is investigated at room temperature under uniaxial tensile loading. The initiation and propagation of interfacial debonding, microcracking, and fiber breaks were observed in situ, under applied load using a specially built loading device. The observed damage modes were then incorporated into existing micromechanical models to predict the laminate stress-strain behavior and compared with the experimental measurements.

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