A three-dimensional self-adaptive cohesive zone model for interfacial delamination

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Discrete crack models with cohesive binding forces in the fracture process zone have been widely used to address failure in quasi-brittle materials and interfaces. However, the numerical concerns and limitations stemming from the application of interface cohesive zone models in a quasi-static finite element framework increase considerably as the relative size of the process zone decreases. An excessively fine mesh is required in the process zone to accurately resolve the distribution of tractions in a relatively small moving zone. With a moderate mesh size, inefficient path-following techniques have to be employed to trace the local discretization-induced snap-backs. In order to increase the applicability of cohesive zone models by reducing their numerical deficiencies, a self-adaptive finite element framework is proposed, based on a hierarchical enrichment of the standard elements. With this approach, the planar mixed-mode crack growth in a general three-dimensional continuum, discretized by a coarse mesh, can be modeled while the set of equations of the non-linear system is solved by a standard Newton–Raphson iterative procedure. This hierarchical scheme was found to be most effective in reducing the oscillatory behavior of the global response. Highlights ¿ 3D self-adaptive cohesive zones were developed for the simulation of delamination. ¿ Delamination parallel or oblique with respect to element edges was simulated. ¿ Hierarchical and non-hierarchical enrichment schemes were examined. ¿ The oscillations in the global structural response were quantified. ¿ Hierarchical self-adaptive enrichment most effectively reduced the oscillations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3540-3553
Number of pages14
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number49-52
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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