Journal article

On the coupling between macroscopic material degradation and interfiber bond fracture in an idealized fiber network


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Publication Details

Author list: Isaksson, Per

Publication year: 2008

Start page: 868

End page: 878

Number of pages: 11

ISSN: 0020-7683


View additional information: View in Web of Science


The numerical analysis performed here, using a finite element network model, provides a number of important results regarding the evolution of micro fractures in planar random fiber networks where the only active microscopic fracture mechanism is bond fracture. The fibers are randomly distributed in the network meaning that the network is considered having in-plane isotropic properties on the macroscopic scale. The network is loaded so that, in an average sense, homogenous macroscopic stress and strain fields are present. Several conclusions are drawn. It is found that the development of macroscopic material degradation follows an exponential two-parameter law, consisting of an onset parameter and a fracture rate parameter, justifying a previous theory derived by the authors. The fracture rate parameter is linearly related to the inverse of the bond density above a certain density limit (percolation) and increases with increasing slenderness ratio of the fibers when keeping the bond density at a constant level. The strain energies stored in interfiber bonds are exponentially distributed over the whole network. The numerical analysis reveals that there is a linear relation between the ratio of fractured and initial number of loaded bonds, and the networks macroscopic material stiffness normalized with its pristine stiffness, confirming earlier findings based on experimental observations. At localization the analyzed theory looses its validity because the fracture process is no longer randomly distributed over the whole network. Localization coincides with location of peak load in force-displacement tensile tests.


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