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Mode-3 spontaneous crack propagation along functionally graded bimaterial interfaces

This is a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids from our group. The paper describes the combined effect of material inertia and inhomogeneous material property variation on spontaneous cohesive-crack propagation in functionally graded materials. The preprint is attached as a PDF.

Abstract- The effects of combining functionally graded materials of different inhomogeneous property gradients on the mode-3 propagation characteristics of an interfacial crack are numerically investigated. Spontaneous interfacial crack propagation simulations were performed using the newly developed spectral scheme. The numerical scheme derived and implemented in the present work can efficiently simulate planar crack propagation along functionally graded bimaterial interfaces. The material property inhomogeneity was assumed to be in the direction normal to the interface. Various bimaterial combinations were simulated by varying the material property inhomogeneity length scale. Our parametric study showed that the inclusion of a softening type functionally graded material in the bimaterial system leads to a reduction in the fracture resistance indicated by the increase in crack propagation velocity and power absorbed. An opposite trend of increased fracture resistance was predicted when a hardening material was included in the bimaterial system. The cohesive tractions and crack opening displacements were altered due to the material property inhomogeneity, but the stresses ahead of the cohesive zone remained unaffected.

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