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Determination of a cohesive law for delamination modelling – Accounting for variation in crack opening and stress state across the test specimen width


The cohesive law for Mode I delamination in glass fibre Non-Crimped Fabric reinforced vinylester is determined for use in finite element models. The cohesive law is derived from a delamination test based on DCB specimens loaded with pure bending moments taking into account the presence of large-scale bridging and the multi-axial state of stress in the test specimen. The fracture resistance is calculated from the applied moments, the elastic material properties and the geometry of the test specimen. The cohesive law is then determined in a three step procedure: 1) Obtain the bridging law by differentiating the fracture resistance with respect to opening displacement at the initial location of the crack tip, measured at the specimen edge. 2) Extend the bridging law to a cohesive law by accounting for crack tip fracture energy. 3) Fine-tune the cohesive law through an iterative modelling approach so that the changing state of stress and deformation across the width of the test specimen is taken into account. The changing state of stress and deformation across the specimen width is shown to be significant for small openings (small fracture process zone size). This will also be important for the initial part of the cohesive law with high stress variation for small openings (a few microns), but the effects are expected to be smaller for large-scale-bridging where the stress varies slowly over an increase in crack opening of several millimetres. The accuracy of the proposed approach is assessed by comparing the results of numerical simulation using the cohesive law derived by the above method, with those of physical testing for the standard DCB Mode I delamination test (ASTM D 5528).


Academic article





  • University of Oslo
  • SINTEF Industry / Materials and Nanotechnology
  • Diverse norske bedrifter og organisasjoner
  • Technical University of Denmark



Published in

Composites Science And Technology








49 - 57

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