A simulation method for high-cycle fatigue-driven delamination using a cohesive zone model

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A novel computational method for simulating fatigue-driven mixed-mode delamination cracks in laminated structures under cyclic loading is presented. The proposed fatigue method is based on linking a cohesive zone model for quasi-static crack growth and a Paris' law-like model described as a function of the energy release rate for the crack growth rate during cyclic loading. The J-integral has been applied to determine the energy release rate. Unlike other cohesive fatigue methods, the proposed method depends only on quasi-static properties and Paris' law parameters without relying on parameter fitting of any kind. The method has been implemented as a zero-thickness eight-node interface element for Abaqus and as a spring element for a simple finite element model in MATLAB. The method has been validated in simulations of mode I, mode II, and mixed-mode crack loading for both self-similar and non-self-similar crack propagation. The method produces highly accurate results compared with currently available methods and is capable of simulating general mixed-mode non-self-similar crack growth problems ​
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