COMBINED RESEARCHES FOR VALIDATION OF A NEW FINITE ELEMENT FOR MODELLING FIBER REINFORCED LAMINATED COMPOSITE PLATES The paper presents the results of a combined numerical and experimental study for validation of a new three-dimensional specialized finite element, used for modelling the behaviour of laminated composite materials, reinforced with fibers. First, the stress and strain state in a circular plate loaded with an uniformly distributed force and fixed on the contour is evaluated using the proposed finite element. Two types of laminated composites are considered, in order to test the behaviour of the proposed element and the models conceived for calculus of laminated composites having different structures. To validate the new element, calculations were made also using the finite element code ANSYS-11. In the second part, the results of an experimental study on the behavior of plates made of the considered laminated composites are presented and compared with the previous numerical ones. The good agreement between the obtained data showed that the new proposed element is adequate for modelling the bending behaviour of fiber reinforced multilayer composite materials.