, Volume 33, Issue 13, pp 3303-3311

Dynamic fracture of a functionally gradient material having discrete property variation

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Abstract

A functionally gradient material (FGM) with discrete property variation is prepared, and the dynamic fracture in this material is studied using the technique of photoelasticity combined with high-speed photography. Transparent sheets required for the study are made by casting a polyester resin mixed with varying amounts of plasticizer. The mechanical (quasi-static and dynamic) and optical properties of the material are evaluated as a function of the plasticizer content. Results of material characterization show that the fracture toughness increases with increasing plasticizer content, whereas the Young's modulus decreases. The material fringe constant and the dynamic modulus are observed to be relatively insensitive to plasticizer content. The FGM is then prepared by casting together thin strips having different plasticizer content. The dynamic crack propagation phenomenon is studied for four different property variations along the crack propagation direction, and the effects of these property variations on crack speed, crack jump distance and dynamic stress intensity factor are investigated. Results of this investigation show that increasing the toughness in the direction of crack growth reduces the crack jump distance as compared to on increasing-decreasing toughness variation for the same initial energy.