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A cohesive zone model for self-similar fractal crack propagation


Cracks in the nature have been proven to be fractal by many experiments. Despite the fractal fracture mechanics has been developed by many researchers, fractal geometry still has few applications in analysis of engineering structures. One of the reasons is that previous studies are somehow inconvenient when apply, e.g. to the finite element method. This study proposes a Cohesive zone model (CZM) for self-similar fractal crack propagation of material interfaces. The determination of the CZM parameters and the simulation of fractal crack propagation are developed by replace the fractal crack with the equivalent smooth crack. The fractal dimension has effects on both the crack extension resistance and the max traction stress. As shown by the simulation of a DCB specimen, the fractal dimension also affect the ultimate load and the crack propagation process. It is shown that it is possible to predict the propagation of fractal cracks without considering geometric modeling of the crack topology by our cohesive zone model.

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Correspondence to Ren Mingfa.

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Recommended by Editor Chongdu Cho

Ren Mingfa is an Associate Professor at the State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment at Dalian University of Technology. He graduated with Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics in 2005, in Dalian University of Technology. He has written over 40 journal and conference papers in the area of composite structural analysis, process mechanics and experimental research work.

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Xin, C., Mingfa, R. & Xu, G. A cohesive zone model for self-similar fractal crack propagation. J Mech Sci Technol 31, 4763–4769 (2017).

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  • Cohesive zone model
  • Finite element analysis
  • Fractal
  • Self-similar fractal crack