A 3D multi-phase-field model for orientation-dependent complex crack interaction in fiber-reinforced composite laminates

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


We formulate a 3D multi-phase field model to simulate bulk and interfacial fracture in fiber-reinforced composites. The purpose of this study is to predict the complex crack interaction between the interlaminar and intralaminar fracture in FRPCs. For that, the discrete crack and the sharp interface are both smeared using the phase-field approach. A second-order anisotropic tensor is incorporated in the elastic as well as the fracture surface energy to promote direction-dependent crack growth. The interface constitutive behavior is represented by the uncoupled 3D traction–separation laws—in exponential and bi-linear form. The proposed model captures the complicated failure phenomena in FRPCs such as matrix damage, interfacial delamination, and their interactions for different configurations of lamina with different fiber orientations and fracture energies. This model's capability is further illustrated to study the three common modes of fracture i.e. modes I, II, and III, in 3D FRPC laminates where the crack impinges on the interface. Finally, the obtained framework is validated by two benchmark problems including the mode I and mode II delamination test, and is compared against experimental data reported in the literature.

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Engineering Fracture Mechanics