skip to main content

Title: Investigation of Fracture Process Zone in Barre Granite under Mode II Loading
Fracturing in brittle rocks exhibits a significant nonlinear region surrounding the crack tip called the fracture process zone (FPZ). In this study, the evolution of the FPZ under pure mode II loading using notched deep beam under three-point loading was investigated. The experimental setup included the simultaneous monitoring of surface deformation using the two-dimensional digital image correlation technique to characterize various crack characteristics such as its type and FPZ evolution in Barre granite specimens. Both displacement and strain approaches of the two-dimensional digital image correlation were used to identify the mode of fracture under pure mode II loading. Both approaches showed that the crack initiation occur under mode I despite the pure mode II loading at the notch tip. The displacement approach was used for characterizing the evolution of the FPZ which analyzed the crack tip opening displacement and crack tip sliding displacement to identify the transition between the three stages of FPZ evolution, namely, (a) elastic stage, (b) formation of the FPZ, and (c) the macro-crack initiation. The results showed that the evolution of the FPZ of mode I fracture under pure mode II loading is similar to cases of pure mode I loading of the same rock.
; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
55th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Fracturing in brittle rocks with an existing crack results in the development of a significant nonlinear region surrounding the crack tip called the fracture process zone. Various experimental and numerical studies have shown that the crack tip parameters such as the crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) and the fracture energy are critically important in characterizing the fracture process zone. In this study, numerical simulations of rock specimens with a center notch subjected to three-point bending were conducted using the extended finite element method (XFEM) along with the cohesive zone model (CZM) to account for fracture process zone. The input parameters of CZM such as the elastic and critical crack opening displacements were first estimated based on the results of three-point bending tests on the center notched Barre granite specimens. Displacements were measured using the two dimensional digital image correlation technique and used to characterize the evolution of the fracture process zone and estimate the parameters of the cohesive zone model. The results from the numerical simulations showed that CZM provided a good agreement with experimental data as it predicted all three stages of cracking from fracture process initiation to macro-crack growth.
  2. Inelastic mechanical responses in solids, such as plasticity, damage and crack initiation, are typically modeled in constitutive ways that display microstructural and loading dependence. Nevertheless, linear elasticity at infinitesimal deformations is used for microstructural properties. We demonstrate a framework that builds on sequences of microstructural images to develop fingerprints of inelastic tendencies, and then use them for data-rich predictions of mechanical responses up to failure. In analogy to common fingerprints, we show that these two-dimensional instability-precursor signatures may be used to reconstruct the full mechanical response of unknown sample microstructures; this feat is achieved by reconstructing appropriate average behaviors with the assistance of a deep convolutional neural network that is fine-tuned for image recognition. We demonstrate basic aspects of microstructural fingerprinting in a toy model of dislocation plasticity and then, we illustrate the method’s scalability and robustness in phase field simulations of model binary alloys under mode-I fracture loading.
  3. Hydrogels are a class of soft, highly deformable materials formed by swelling a network of polymer chains in water. With mechanical properties that mimic biological materials, hydrogels are often proposed for load bearing biomedical or other applications in which their deformation and failure properties will be important. To study the failure of such materials a means for the measurement of deformation fields beyond simple uniaxial tension tests is required. As a non-contact, full-field deformation measurement method, Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a good candidate for such studies. The application of DIC to hydrogels is studied here with the goal of establishing the accuracy of DIC when applied to hydrogels in the presence of large strains and large strain gradients. Experimental details such as how to form a durable speckle pattern on a material that is 90% water are discussed. DIC is used to measure the strain field in tension loaded samples containing a central hole, a circular edge notch and a sharp crack. Using a nonlinear, large deformation constitutive model, these experiments are modeled using the finite element method (FEM). Excellent agreement between FEM and DIC results for all three geometries shows that the DIC measurements are accurate up tomore »strains of over 10, even in the presence of very high strain gradients near a crack tip. The method is then applied to verify a theoretical prediction that the deformation field in a cracked sample under relaxation loading, i.e. constant applied boundary displacement, is stationary in time even as the stress relaxes by a factor of three.« less
  4. Recent theoretical and computational progress has led to unprecedented understanding of symmetry-breaking instabilities in 2D dynamic fracture. At the heart of this progress resides the identification of two intrinsic, near crack tip length scales — a nonlinear elastic length scale ℓ and a dissipation length scale ξ — that do not exist in Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM), the classical theory of cracks. In particular, it has been shown that at a propagation velocity v of about 90% of the shear wave-speed, cracks in 2D brittle materials undergo an oscillatory instability whose wavelength varies linearly with ℓ, and at larger loading levels (corresponding to yet higher propagation velocities), a tip-splitting instability emerges, both in agreements with experiments. In this paper, using phase-field models of brittle fracture, we demonstrate the following properties of the oscillatory instability: (i) It exists also in the absence of near-tip elastic nonlinearity, i.e. in the limit ℓ→0, with a wavelength determined by the dissipation length scale ξ. This result shows that the instability crucially depends on the existence of an intrinsic length scale associated with the breakdown of linear elasticity near crack tips, independently of whether the latter is related to nonlinear elasticity or to dissipation. (ii)more »It is a supercritical Hopf bifurcation, featuring a vanishing oscillations amplitude at onset. (iii) It is largely independent of the phenomenological forms of the degradation functions assumed in the phase-field framework to describe the cohesive zone, and of the velocity-dependence of the fracture energy Γ(v) that is controlled by the dissipation time scale in the Ginzburg-Landau-type evolution equation for the phase-field. These results substantiate the universal nature of the oscillatory instability in 2D. In addition, we provide evidence indicating that the tip-splitting instability is controlled by the limiting rate of elastic energy transport inside the crack tip region. The latter is sensitive to the wave-speed inside the dissipation zone, which can be systematically varied within the phase-field approach. Finally, we describe in detail the numerical implementation scheme of the employed phase-field fracture approach, allowing its application in a broad range of materials failure problems.« less
  5. Crack initiation emerges due to a combination of elasticity, plasticity, and disorder, and it displays strong dependence on the material’s microstructural details. The characterization of the structural uncertainty in the original microstructure is typically empirical and systematic characterization protocols are lacking. In this paper, we propose an investigational tool in the form of the curvature an ellipsoidal notch: As the radius of curvature at the notch increases, there is a dynamic phase transition from notch-induced crack initiation to bulk-disorder crack nucleation. The notch length scale associated with this transition may provide an additional characteristic of the original material microstructure. We investigate brittle but elastoplastic metals with coarse-grained, microstructural disorder that could originate in a material’s manufacturing process, such as alloying. We perform extensive and realistic simulations using a phase-field approach coupled to crystal plasticity. The microstructural disorder and notch width are systematically varied. We identify this transition for various disorder strengths in terms of the damage evolution. We identify detectable precursors to crack initiation that we quantify in terms of the expected stress drops during mode I fracture loading. Finally, we discuss ways to observe and analyze this brittle to quasi-brittle transition in experiments.