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In Search of a Time Efficient Approach to Crack and Delamination Growth Predictions in Composites



Analysis benchmarking was used to assess the accuracy and time efficiency of algorithms suitable for automated delamination growth analysis. First, the Floating Node Method (FNM) was introduced and its combination with a simple exponential growth law (Paris Law) and Virtual Crack Closure technique (VCCT) was discussed. Implementation of the method into a user element (UEL) in Abaqus/Standard® was also presented. For the assessment of growth prediction capabilities, an existing benchmark case based on the Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) specimen was briefly summarized. Additionally, the development of new benchmark cases based on the Mixed-Mode Bending (MMB) specimen to assess the growth prediction capabilities under mixed-mode I/II conditions was discussed in detail. A comparison was presented, in which the benchmark cases were used to assess the existing low-cycle fatigue analysis tool in Abaqus/Standard® in comparison to the FNM-VCCT fatigue growth analysis implementation. The low-cycle fatigue analysis tool in Abaqus/Standard® was able to yield results that were in good agreement with the DCB benchmark example. Results for the MMB benchmark cases, however, only captured the trend correctly. The user element (FNM-VCCT) always yielded results that were in excellent agreement with all benchmark cases, at a fraction of the analysis time. The ability to assess the implementation of two methods in one finite element code illustrated the value of establishing benchmark solutions.

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