Automated photoelastic determination of fracture parameters for bimaterial interface cracks
This thesis details an experimental study on the determination of the fracture parameters for a crack located at the interface between two dissimilar materials using the method of photoelasticity. The interface is potential1y an inherent weak spot of any composite material, structure"or adhesively bonded joint. Accurate description of the state of stress at the crack tip is required for strength prediction. The concept of the complex stress intensity factor is used to characterise the elastic crack tip stress field for an interface crack. Complex stress intensity factors and their moduli have been measured experimental1y for standard bimaterial crack geometries using the wel1 established technique of photo elasticity. Bimaterial specimens comprising aluminium al10y and epoxy resin components were used. This creates a large material mismatch at the interface and al10ws data to be col1ected from the epoxy component of the specimen using transmission photoelasticity. An automated ful1 field photoelastic technique was developed to significantly reduce the data col1ection time. The technique comprises elements from the approaches of three wavelength and phase stepping photoelasticity and is a significant improvement on techniques previously available. Stress intensity factors were determined by fitting a theoretical stress field solution for the bimaterial crack to the experimental data. A computational routine automatical1y selects the region of best fit between the experimental data and the theoretical solution. This data is then used to determine the complex stress intensity factor and its modulus value. In order to provide a robust fit between the experimental data and the theoretical field solution a weighting function was incorporated into the routine. The measured bimaterial stress intensity factors are compared with those determined experimental1y for equivalent homogeneous specimens made from epoxy resin. The differences between the two are then discussed. The experimental results agree with the wel1 known concept that tension and shear effects are inherently coupled at the crack tip. However, the effects of changing the load angle with respect to the interface also demonstrate that some contrasts exist with known numerical solutions.