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The extreme lightweight potential of modern composites for the application in highly strained and thick walled components can only be sucessfully utilized with the help of adapted design procedures. Therefore, the stress and strain analysis of fibre reinforced components has experienced a tremendous improvement in recent years. The derived mechanical methods and the existing computing facilities are now capable of calculating complex and three-dimensional states of stress for single layers within laminated structures. The adequate development of appropriate failure criteria for the evaluation of such stress states has unfortunately not been promoted in the desired manner. In 1980, Hashin proposed a new generation of physically based failure analysis which could only be realized by a considerably increased numerical effort. Recently, Puck made a new attempt based on Hashin's concept using fundamental elements of the failure criterion by Mohr and Coulomb. Applying this model, th e three-dimensional state of stress is evaluated in a realistic manner. It is assumed that besides the occurence of fibre failure only tensile stresses and shear stresses in loading planes tangential to the fibre direction induce the inter-fibre failure of the unidirectionally reinforced composite, whereas compressive stresses in these planes obstruct failure.