In laminated materials, repeated cyclic stresses can cause layers to separate with significant loss of mechanical toughness. Delamination also occurs in reinforced concrete structures subject to reinforcement corrosion, in which case the oxidized metal of the reinforcement is greater in volume than the original metal. The oxidized metal therefore requires greater space than the original reinforcing bars, which causes a wedge-like stress on the concrete. This force eventually overcomes the relatively weak tensile strength of concrete, resulting in a separation (or delamination) of the concrete above and below the reinforcing bars.
Delamination failure may be detected in the material by its sound; solid composite has bright sound, while delaminated part sounds dull, reinforced concrete sounds solid, whereas delaminated concrete will have a light drum-like sound.