In this study, the damage progression process for plain-woven carbon fabric composites (PW-CFCs) under cyclic loading was investigated. Under cyclic loading, the damage progression was estimated intermittently by using the thermo-elastic damage analysis (TDA) method. Crack density for each layer of the specimen was also estimated at several stages of fatigue. It was found from these results that the damage progression process was divided into three stages. In the first stage, especially, the damage accumulation occurred independently in the PW-CFC specimen and progressed easily along the transverse fiber bundles. All experimental results showed that the damage progression in the first fatigue stage was explained by considering damage-units (a unit area of damage progression and accumulation). Based on the percolation theory, the damage progression for PW-CFC under cyclic loading can be characterized by re-generating the distribution pattern of damage-units.

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