SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

Computational Simulation of Composite Fracture Toughness Parameters


Energy release rate G and critical value of stress intensity factor K are usually suggested as two types of parameters for characterizing material toughness. Computational prediction of energy release rate is based on composite mechanics with micro-stress level damage assessment, finite element structural analysis and damage progression tracking modules. In this paper, Mode I interlaminar and intralaminar fracture toughness GIC of composites are examined by computational simulation. Results show that computational simulation has a good predictive capability for monitoring damage progression in composites. Computational simulation enables assessment of the damage initiation and propagation loads. Because fracture toughness tests on composites are time consuming, difficult and expensive, computational simulation can be used prior to testing. Through simulation, sensitive parameters affecting fracture toughness are identified, which significantly enhance the accuracy and productivity of experiments. Simulation results are compared with test data.

Author Information

Zhang, H
Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
Minnetyan, L
Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
Chamis, CC
NASA-Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH
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Developed by Committee: D30
Pages: 224–237
DOI: 10.1520/STP38414S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5568-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3465-2