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Title: On the formulation of hereditary cohesive-zone models
Author: Musto, Marco
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 3077
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis presents novel formulations of hereditary cohesive zone models able to capture rate-dependent crack propagation along a defined interface. The formulations rely on the assumption that the measured fracture energy is the sum of an intrinsic fracture energy, related to the rupture of primary bonds at the atomic or molecular level, and an additional dissipation caused by any irreversible mechanisms present in the material and occurring simultaneously to fracture. The first contribution can be accounted for by introducing damage-type internal variables, which are to be driven by a rateindependent evolution law in order to be coherent with the definition as intrinsic energy. It is then proposed that the additional dissipation can be satisfactorily characterised by the same continuum-type material constitutive law obeyed by the interface material considered as a continuum: it is postulated that the dimensional reduction whereby a three-dimensional thin layer is idealized as a surface does not qualitatively alter the functional description of the free energy. The specific application considered is mode-I crack propagation along a rubber interface. After focusing on viscoelasticity as a suitable candidate to reproduce rubber’s behaviour, firstly the most common relaxation function, namely a single exponential term, is considerd after which the attention is turned to the use of fractional calculus and the related fractional integral kernel. A comparison with experimental results is presented. A shortcoming of the proposed approach is then noted, in that certain features of experimentally measured responses (i.e.the non-monotonicity of the critical energy-release rate with respect to crack speed) will be shown to be out of reach for the described modelling paradigm. A novel micromechanical formulation is then sketched in an attempt to qualitatively understand the phenomenon. An additional interface damaging mode is introduced, physically inspired by the desire to reproduce the formation of fibrils in a neighbourhood of the crack tip. Fibril formation is then driven by a variational argument applied to the whole of the interface, yielding its non-local character. Upon the introduction of an anisotropic fracture energy, motivated by experimental considerations, it is noted how the model can predict a non-monotonic energy-release rate vs crack speed behaviour, at least for a simple loading mode.
Supervisor: Alfano, G. Sponsor: Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd ; EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fracture mechanics ; Viscoelasticity ; Rubber ; Interface ; Rate-dependent