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Modelling Mesh Independent Transverse Cracks in Laminated Composites with a Simplified Cohesive Segment Method

Luiz F. Kawashita1, Alexandre Bedos2, Stephen R. Hallett3

School of Engineering, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF24 3AA, Wales, UK. Email:
Eole Nationale Supeieure des Mines de Saint-Eienne, F-42023 Saint Eienne, France.
Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS), University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK.

Computers, Materials & Continua 2012, 32(2), 133-158.


A methodology is proposed for modelling transverse matrix cracks in laminated composites in a three-dimensional explicit finite element analysis framework. The method is based on the introduction of extra degrees of freedom to represent the displacement discontinuity and the use of a cohesive zone model to determine damage evolution and crack propagation. The model is designed for the analysis of matrix cracks in laminates made of uni-directional fibre-reinforced plies, allowing several assumptions to be made which greatly simplify the algorithm. This was implemented in the commercial software Abaqus/Explicit as a user-defined element subroutine (VUEL). The methodology was verified via the analysis of open-hole tension tests considering both ±45˚ and quasi-isotropic layups. The results were found to be in qualitative agreement with experimental observations in terms of the nucleation and propagation of matrix cracks, the progressive delamination behaviour and the evident interactions between these damage mechanisms.


Cite This Article

L. F. . Kawashita, A. . Bedos and S. R. . Hallett, "Modelling mesh independent transverse cracks in laminated composites with a simplified cohesive segment method," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 32, no.2, pp. 133–158, 2012.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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