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Void growth measurement and modelling in a thermosetting epoxy resin using SEM and tomography techniques


Void growth and failure in an epoxy resin is investigated. Tensile tests are carried out on double-notched round bars. Stress triaxiality in the net section is controlled by the use of two different notch root radii. SEM and computed tomography observations are conducted on regions of interest to identify voids and evaluate their growth. Failure initiation sites are analysed, revealing critical defects in the form of voids or particles. The macroscopic and microscopic experimental results are used to optimize the Gurson–Tvergaard–Needleman model. A finite element analysis is performed to study the mechanical response of the notched specimens. The peaks of the maximum principal stress are found to coincide with the locations of the failure initiation sites observed experimentally, and the model is shown to be able to handle non-uniform initial void distributions.

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The research leading to these results has been carried out within the framework of the FiBreMoD project and has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722626. The authors would also like to acknowledge Synchrotron SOLEIL for providing the synchrotron radiation facilities (Proposal 20180023) and thank Jonathan Perrin, Mario Scheel and Timm Weitkamp for their assistance in using the beamline ANATOMIX. ANATOMIX is an Equipment of Excellence (EQUIPEX) funded by the “Investments for the Future” programme of the French National Research Agency (ANR), project “NanoimagesX”, grant No ANR-11-EQPX-0031. Christian Breite gratefully acknowledges Stepan V. Lomov and Larissa Gorbatikh from KU Leuven for their fruitful discussions and supervision of his PhD. Yentl Swolfs acknowledges FWO Flanders for his postdoctoral fellowship.

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Correspondence to Jan Rojek.

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Communicated by Johlitz, Laiarinandrasana and Marco.

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Rojek, J., Breite, C., Swolfs, Y. et al. Void growth measurement and modelling in a thermosetting epoxy resin using SEM and tomography techniques. Continuum Mech. Thermodyn. 32, 471–488 (2020).

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  • Epoxy
  • Failure criterion
  • Constitutive modelling
  • Elasto-viscoplasticity
  • Finite element method