Cohesive fracture modeling of elastic-plastic crack growth in functionally graded materials

Zhi He Jin, Glaucio H. Paulino, Robert H. Dodds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work investigates elastic-plastic crack growth in ceramic/metal functionally graded materials (FGMs). The study employs a phenomenological, cohesive zone model proposed by the authors and simulates crack growth by the gradual degradation of cohesive surfaces ahead of the crack front. The cohesive zone model uses six material-dependent parameters (the cohesive energy densities and the peak cohesive tractions of the ceramic and metal phases, respectively, and two cohesive gradation parameters) to describe the constitutive response of the material in the cohesive zone. A volume fraction based, elastic-plastic model (extension of the original Tamura-Tomota-Ozawa model) describes the elastic-plastic response of the bulk background material. The numerical analyses are performed using WARP3D, a fracture mechanics research finite element code, which incorporates solid elements with graded elastic and plastic properties and interface-cohesive elements coupled with the functionally graded cohesive zone model. Numerical values of volume fractions for the constituents specified at nodes of the finite element model set the spatial gradation of material properties with isoparametric interpolations inside interface elements and background solid elements to define pointwise material property values. The paper describes applications of the cohesive zone model and the computational scheme to analyze crack growth in a single-edge notch bend, SE(B), specimen made of a TiB/Ti FGM. Cohesive parameters are calibrated using the experimentally measured load versus average crack extension (across the thickness) responses of both Ti metal and TiB/Ti FGM SE(B) specimens. The numerical results show that with the calibrated cohesive gradation parameters for the TiB/Ti system, the load to cause crack extension in the FGM is much smaller than that for the metal. However, the crack initiation load for the TiB/Ti FGM with reduced cohesive gradation parameters (which may be achieved under different manufacturing conditions) could compare to that for the metal. Crack growth responses vary strongly with values of the exponent describing the volume fraction profile for the metal. The investigation also shows significant crack tunneling in the Ti metal SE(B) specimen. For the TiB/Ti FGM system, however, crack tunneling is pronounced only for a metal-rich specimen with relatively smaller cohesive gradation parameter for the metal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1885-1912
Number of pages28
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • 3-D finite element analysis
  • Cohesive zone model
  • Elastic-plastic crack growth
  • Functionally graded material (FGM)
  • Graded finite element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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