Applied Composite Materials

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 139–154 | Cite as

Three-Dimensional Static and Dynamic Analysis of a Composite Cruciform Structure Subjected to Biaxial Loading: A Discontinuum Approach

  • J. Navarro-Zafra
  • J. L. Curiel-Sosa
  • M. C. Serna Moreno


A three-dimensional structural integrity analysis using the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) is considered for simulating the crack behaviour of a chopped fibre-glass-reinforced polyester (CGRP) cruciform specimen subjected to a quasi-static tensile biaxial loading. This is the first time this problem is accomplished for computing the stress intensity factors (SIFs) produced in the biaxially loaded area of the cruciform specimen. A static crack analysis for the calculation of the mixed-mode SIFs is carried out. SIFs are calculated for infinite plates under biaxial loading as well as for the CGRP cruciform specimens in order to review the possible edge effects. A ratio relating the side of the central zone of the cruciform and the crack length is proposed. Additionally, the initiation and evolution of a three-dimensional crack are successfully simulated. Specific challenges such as the 3D crack initiation, based on a principal stress criterion, and its front propagation, in perpendicular to the principal stress direction, are conveniently addressed. No initial crack location is pre-defined and an unique crack is developed. Finally, computational outputs are compared with theoretical and experimental results validating the analysis.


Biaxial testing Chopped glass-reinforced composite Stress intensity factors 3D crack initiation and propagation 



This work has been financially supported by EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Navarro-Zafra
    • 1
  • J. L. Curiel-Sosa
    • 1
  • M. C. Serna Moreno
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Departamento de Mecánica Aplicada e Ingeniería de Proyectos, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Industriales de Ciudad RealUniversidad de Castilla-La ManchaCiudad RealSpain

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