Computational Mechanics

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 845–857 | Cite as

A coupled cohesive zone model for transient analysis of thermoelastic interface debonding

  • Alberto Sapora
  • Marco Paggi
Original Paper


A coupled cohesive zone model based on an analogy between fracture and contact mechanics is proposed to investigate debonding phenomena at imperfect interfaces due to thermomechanical loading and thermal fields in bodies with cohesive cracks. Traction-displacement and heat flux–temperature relations are theoretically derived and numerically implemented in the finite element method. In the proposed formulation, the interface conductivity is a function of the normal gap, generalizing the Kapitza constant resistance model to partial decohesion effects. The case of a centered interface in a bimaterial component subjected to thermal loads is used as a test problem. The analysis focuses on the time evolution of the displacement and temperature fields during the transient regime before debonding, an issue not yet investigated in the literature. The solution of the nonlinear numerical problem is gained via an implicit scheme both in space and in time. The proposed model is finally applied to a case study in photovoltaics where the evolution of the thermoelastic fields inside a defective solar cell is predicted.


Thermoelasticity Interface debonding Cohesive zone model Photovoltaics 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement No. 306622 (ERC Starting Grant Multi-field and Multi-scale Computational Approach to Design and Durability of PhotoVoltaic Modules—CA2PVM). The support of the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research to the Project FIRB 2010 Future in Research Structural Mechanics Models for Renewable Energy Applications (RBFR107AKG) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structural, Geotechnical and Building EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly

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