The bearing strength of pin connections highly depends on joint and material parameters such as connection geometry, fibre orientation, layer orientation, pressure distribution along the plate thickness, etc. In order to investigate the bearing performance of the pin-loaded unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) matrix composites, experiments have been carried out according to the ASTM D953 standards using Instron 4411. It is observed that pin loading performance has close relationship with fibre orientation of laminates and their deformation characteristics. Also the geometric parameters of end distance from the hole centre (E) and width of the plate (W) and pin diameter (D) remarkably affect the load bearing performance of the materials. Joint failure with the net tension and shear-out modes is catastrophic and immediate. But bearing failure is progressive. Also fractoraphic investigations were performed to understand the deformations of the material with respect to the fiber orientations. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.