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A crack tip tracking algorithm for cohesive interface element analysis of fatigue delamination propagation in composite materials

Kawashita, Luiz and Hallett, Stephen R. 2012. A crack tip tracking algorithm for cohesive interface element analysis of fatigue delamination propagation in composite materials. International Journal of Solids and Structures 49 (21) , pp. 2898-2913. 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2012.03.034

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A novel approach is proposed for the use of cohesive elements in the analysis of delamination propagation in composite materials under high-cycle fatigue loading. The method is applicable to delamination propagation within the Paris-law regime and is suitable for the analysis of three-dimensional structures typical of aerospace applications. The major advantages of the proposed formulation are its complete independence of the cohesive zone length – which is a geometry-dependent parameter – and its relative insensitivity to mesh refinement. This is only possible via the introduction of three nonlocal algorithms, which provide (i) automated three-dimensional tracking of delamination fronts, (ii) an estimation of direction of crack propagation and (iii) accurate and mesh-insensitive integration of strain energy release rate. All calculations are updated at every increment of an explicit time-integration finite element solution, which models the envelopes of forces and displacements with an assumption of underlying constant cyclic loading. The method was implemented as a user-defined subroutine in the commercial finite element software LS-Dyna and supports the analysis of complex three-dimensional models. Results are presented for benchmark cases such as specimens with central cut plies and centrally-loaded circular plates. Accurate predictions of delamination growth rates are observed for different mesh topologies in agreement with the Paris-laws of the material.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cohesive; Element; Fatigue; Delamination; Fiber; Composite
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0020-7683
Funders: Rolls-Royce plc
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:43

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