Mixed mode crack propagation in polymers using a discrete lattice method

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The fracture behavior of polymeric materials has been widely studied in recent years, both experimentally and numerically. Different numerical approaches have been considered in the study of crack propagation processes, from continuum-based numerical formulations to discrete models, many of the latter being limited in the selection of the Poisson’s coefficient of the considered material. In this work, we present a numerical and experimental analysis of the crack propagation process of polymethylmethacrylate beams with central and eccentric notches subjected to quasi-static three-point bending tests. The developed discrete numerical model consists of a regular triangular lattice model based on axial and normal interaction springs, accounting for nearest-neighbor interactions. The proposed model allows solving the above mentioned limitation in the selection of Poisson’s coefficient, incorporating a fracture criterion defined by a bilinear law with softening that includes the fracture energy in the formulation and allows considering a progressive damage. One of the main objectives of this work is to show the capacity of this lattice to simulate quasi-static fracture problems. The obtained results show that the proposed lattice model is capable of providing results close to the experimental ones in terms of crack pattern, peak load and initial stiffening.
This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Performance and Modelling of Polymeric Materials.
Crack propagation, Three-point bend, PMMA, Lattice model, Discrete method, Numerical simulation, Experimental testing
Bibliographic citation
Braun, M., Aranda-Ruiz, J. & Fernández-Sáez, J. (2021). Mixed Mode Crack Propagation in Polymers Using a Discrete Lattice Method. Polymers, 13(8), 1290.