Phase field-based cohesive zone approach to model delamination in fiber-reinforced polymer composites

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


In the present work, a unified phase field-based cohesive zone model (PF-CZM) has been utilized to predict bulk fracture and most importantly interfacial delamination in carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites (CFRP). The formulation is based on the classical phase-field approach of energy minimization, with a rational degradation function and a polynomial-type crack geometric function. Incorporation of those provides the PF theory to integrate various traction–separation behaviors by choosing optimal constitutive functions and makes the theory capable of predicting the quasi-brittle type of fracture. Since the interfacial delamination in composites occurs either due to adhesive failure or decohesion between stacked lamina, the PF-CZM model is used to predict such failure by exploiting the cohesive zone flavor of the model. Further, the model inherently incorporates the strength of the material without any additional calibration. Various standard simulations are performed considering CFRP geometry where delaminations due to adhesive failure or interface decohesion occur in a mode-I and mode-II fashion. The model is observed to predict mode-I and mode-II separation accurately. To test the accuracy of the model an experimental validation is also performed. In addition to the delamination, open hole tension (OHT) simulations of CFRP lamina for different fiber orientations are considered to validate the anisotropic crack growth predictions, and the results are compared with experiments.

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Composite Structures