Analytical Modeling of the Mechanics of Nucleation and Growth of Cracks
With the traditional fracture mechanics approaches, an initial crack and self-similar progression of cracks are assumed. In this treatise, theoretical and numerical tools are developed to mathematically describe non-self-similar progression of cracks without specifying an initial crack. A cohesive-decohesive zone model, similar to the cohesive zone model known in fracture mechanics as Dugdale-Barenblatt model, is adopted to represent the degradation of the material ahead of the crack tip. This model unifies strength-based crack initiation and fracture based crack progression. The cohesive-decohesive zone model is implemented with an interfacial surface material that consists of an upper and lower surface connected by a continuous distribution of normal and tangential nonlinear elastic springs that act to resist either Mode I opening, Mode II sliding, Mode III sliding, or mixed mode. The initiation of fracture is determined by the interfacial strength and the progression of fracture is determined by the critical energy release rate. The material between two adjacent laminae of a laminated composite structure or the material between the adherend and the adhesive is idealized with an interfacial surface material to predict interfacial fracture. The interfacial surface material is positioned within the bulk material to predict discrete cohesive cracks. The proper work-conjugacy relations between the stress and deformation measures are identified for the interfacial surface theory. In the principle of virtual work, the interfacial cohesive-decohesive tractions are conjugate to the displacement jumps across the upper and lower surfaces. A finite deformation kinematics theory is developed for the description of the upper and lower surface such that the deformation measures are invariant with respect to superposed rigid body translation and rotation. Various mechanical softening constitutive laws thermodynamically consistent with damage mechanics are postulated that relate the interfacial tractions to the displacement jump. An exponential function is used for the constitutive law such that it satisfies a multi-axial stress criterion for the onset of delamination, and satisfies a mixed mode fracture criterion for the progression of delamination. A damage parameter is included to prevent the restoration of the previous cohesive state between the interfacial surfaces. In addition, interfacial constitutive laws are developed to describe the contact-friction behavior. Interface elements applicable to two dimensional and three dimensional analyses are formulated for the analyses of contact, friction, and delamination problems. The consistent form of the interface element internal force vector and the tangent stiffness matrix are considered in the formulation. We investigate computational issues related to interfacial interpenetration, mesh sensitivity, the number of integrations points and the integration scheme, mathematical form of the softening constitutive law, and the convergence characteristics of the nonlinear solution procedure when cohesive-decohesive constitutive laws are used. To demonstrate the predictive capability of the interface finite element formulation, steadystate crack growth is simulated for quasi-static loading of various fracture test configurations loaded under Mode I, Mode II, Mode III, and mixed-mode loading. The finite element results are in agreement with the analytical results available in the literature and those developed in this work. A progressive failure methodology is developed and demonstrated to simulate the initiation and material degradation of a laminated panel due to intralaminar and interlaminar failures. Initiation of intralaminar failure can be by a matrix-cracking mode, a fiber-matrix shear mode, and a fiber failure mode. Subsequent material degradation is modeled using damage parameters for each mode to selectively reduce lamina material properties. The interlaminar failure mechanism such as delamination is simulated by positioning interface elements between adjacent sublaminates. The methodology is validated with respect to experimental data available in the literature on the response and failure of quasi-isotropic panels with centrally located circular cutouts. Very good agreement between the progressive failure analysis and the experiments is achieved if the failure analyses includes the interaction of intralaminar and interlaminar failures in the postbuckling response of the panels. In addition, ideas concerning the implementation of a fatigue model incorporated with a cohesive zone model are discussed.
- Doctoral Dissertations