A *Panel* is a *Laminate* that is used in a beam. The laminate *x*-axis is oriented along the length of the beam. The laminate *y*-axis is oriented from node to node , which is called *s*-coordinate in Figure 10.2. The thickness of the laminate is given by the *r*-axis in Figure 10.2, which is found using the right hand rule, or the cross product .

The *s*-direction is important if the laminate is not symmetric. Lamina #1 is located at the bottom of the laminate (*s* negative). For example, for a laminate, the *0* deg lamina should be located at *s* negative and the *90* deg lamina at *s* positive to get the correct bending-extension coupling and so on.