Mechanical fasteners, commonly used in many advanced engineering applications dealing with composite laminates, play the main role of transferring loads between the linked structural elements. The present study, focused on pinned-joints, explores the possibility of applying a direct method for evaluating the joint’s strength as well as for predicting some of the more common joint’s failure mechanisms. A limit analysis numerical approach for statically loaded pinned-joint orthotropic laminates in plane stress conditions is proposed. Two well known numerical procedures for limit analysis likewise having common roots, namely the Linear Matching Method and the Elastic Compensation Method, are utilized to evaluate upper and lower bounds to the joint collapse load. Both methods are rephrased assuming for the material in use a Tsai–Wu type yield surface. The results obtained are compared and plotted against some available experimental findings. Some final remarks draw attention to the potentialities and the limits of the proposed approach.
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