International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 15–29 | Cite as

Simulation of fracture in heterogeneous elastic materials with cohesive zone models

  • M. PrechtelEmail author
  • P. Leiva Ronda
  • R. Janisch
  • A. Hartmaier
  • G. Leugering
  • P. Steinmann
  • M. Stingl
Original Paper


In brittle composite materials, failure mechanisms like debonding of the matrix-fiber interface or fiber breakage can result in crack deflection and hence in the improvement of the damage tolerance. More generally it is known that high values of fracture energy dissipation lead to toughening of the material. Our aim is to investigate the influence of material parameters and geometrical aspects of fibers on the fracture energy as well as the crack growth for given load scenarios. Concerning simulations of crack growth the cohesive element method in combination with the Discontinuous Galerkin method provides a framework to model the fracture considering strength, stiffness and failure energy in an integrated manner. Cohesive parameters are directly determined by DFT supercell calculations. We perform studies with prescribed crack paths as well as free crack path simulations. In both cases computational results reveal that fracture energy depends on both the material parameters but also the geometry of the fibers. In particular it is shown that the dissipated energy can be increased by appropriate choices of cohesive parameters of the interface and geometrical aspects of the fiber. In conclusion, our results can help to guide the manufacturing process of materials with a high fracture toughness.


Crack growth Fracture energy Cohesive zone modeling Ceramic matrix composites Fiber reinforced material 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Prechtel
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Leiva Ronda
    • 2
  • R. Janisch
    • 3
  • A. Hartmaier
    • 3
  • G. Leugering
    • 1
  • P. Steinmann
    • 4
  • M. Stingl
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair of Applied Mathematics II (AM2)Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.General Material Properties (WW1)Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS)Ruhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  4. 4.Chair of Applied Mechanics (LTM)Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-NurembergErlangenGermany

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