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Crack nucleation and propagation simulation in brittle two-phase perforated/particulate composites by a phase field model

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Fracture is a very common failure mode of the composite materials, which seriously affects the reliability and service-life of composite materials. Therefore, the study of the fracture behavior of the composite materials is of great significance and necessity, which demands an accurate and efficient numerical tool in general cases because of the complexity of the arising boundary-value or initial-boundary value problems. In this paper, a phase field model is adopted and applied for the numerical simulation of the crack nucleation and propagation in brittle linear elastic two-phase perforated/particulate composites under a quasi-static tensile loading. The phase field model can well describe the initiation, propagation and coalescence of the cracks without assuming the existence and the geometry of the initial cracks in advance. Its numerical implementation is realized within the framework of the finite element method (FEM). The accuracy and the efficiency of the present phase field model are verified by the available reference results in literature. In the numerical examples, we first study and discuss the influences of the hole/particle size on the crack propagation trajectory and the force–displacement curve. Then, the effects of the hole/particle shape on the crack initiation and propagation are investigated. Furthermore, numerical examples are presented and discussed to show the influences of the hole/particle location on the crack initiation and propagation characteristics. It will be demonstrated that the present phase field model is an efficient tool for the numerical simulation of the crack initiation and propagation problems in brittle two-phase composite materials, and the corresponding results may play an important role in predicting and preventing possible hazardous crack initiation and propagation in engineering applications.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants U1333201 and U1833116). The first author is also grateful to the financial support by China Scholarship Council (CSC) for the joint Ph.D. scholarship at the Chair of Structural Mechanics, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Siegen, Germany.

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Correspondence to Cheng Li or Chuanzeng Zhang.

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Lu, X., Hou, Y., Tie, Y. et al. Crack nucleation and propagation simulation in brittle two-phase perforated/particulate composites by a phase field model. Acta Mech. Sin. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10409-020-00927-6

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  • Brittle fracture
  • Phase field model
  • Perforated/particulate composites
  • Crack nucleation and propagation
  • Finite element method