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Simulating the Mixed-Mode Progressive Delamination in Composite Laminates



Delamination, or interlaminar debonding, is a commonly observed failure mechanism in composite laminates. The objective of this paper is to develop a 2D and a 3D numerical approach to simulating the double-cantilever beam (DCB), the endnotched flexure (ENF), and the mixed-mode bending (MMB) tests with a commercial software, Abaqus, and to seek for appropriate simplifications of the simulations. An explicit dynamic time integration scheme and a viscosity parameter is adopted to yield close predictions of the specimen responses. The load rate and the specimen mass density are properly selected to approximate a quasi-static loading process. A linear cohesive zone model is used to characterize the mechanical response of the interface. The validity of different strategies of simplifying the finite element model is discussed. The 2D and the 3D predictions are both found to fit the experimental results well, but the 2D predictions are found to be more accurate and stable than the 3D predictions. The 2D approach is found to better handle the mixed-mode progressive delamination in composite laminates satisfying plane stress condition. Although the present approaches are developed with Abaqus/Explicit, they are also amendable to other finite element codes.

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