The local (plate)/global (beam) vibration and damping behavior of composite thin-walled box member subjected to vibratory environment are studied and presented in this paper. This investigation is carried out by the use of 3D beam and thin plate finite elements and the corresponding modal frequencies/damping values of composite box beam are predicted by modal strain energy method. Application examples illustrate the ability of the 3D beam and thin plate element to predict both local and global modal frequencies/damping of hollow box sections. The influence of L/h ratio, b/h ratio and ply angle on the frequency and loss factor of composite box beam is investigated. In addition, an attempt has also been made to investigate the effect of temperature on the composite damping characteristics of rectangular box type section. © 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.