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Theses Doctoral

Stability Analysis of Metals Capturing Brittle and Ductile Fracture through a Phase Field Method and Shear Band Localization

Arriaga e Cunha, Miguel Torre do Vale

Dynamic fracture of metals is a fascinating multiphysics-multiscale problem that often results in brittle and/or ductile fracture of structural components. Additionally, under high strain rates such as impact or blast loads, a failure phenomena known as shear banding may also occur, which is a common precursor to fracture.

Both fracture and shear banding are instability processes leading to strong discontinuities and strain localization, respectively. Namely, shear bands are zones of highly localized plastic deformation, while brittle/ductile cracks are material discontinuities due to cleavage and/or void coalescence. Furthermore, while fracture events are mostly driven by triaxial tensile loading, shear bands are driven by shear heating caused by inelastic deformations and high temperature rise.
In this work, fracture is modeled through a phase field formulation coupled to a set of equations that describe shear bands. While fracture is governed by a strong length scale that propagates at a fast time scale, shear bands are dominated by a weak length scale and propagate slower. These are two different failure modes with distinct spatial and temporal scales.
This thesis is aimed at the development of analytical and numerical methods to determine the onset of both shear band localization and fracture.
The main contribution of this thesis is the formulation of analytical criteria, based on the linear perturbation method, for the onset of fracture and shear band instabilities.
We first propose a stability framework for shear bands that account for a non-constant Taylor Quinney coefficient. In addition, we apply the linear perturbation method to the phase field formulation of fracture to study the onset of unstable crack growth.
The derivations lead to an analytical, energy based criterion for the phase field method in linear elastic and visco-plastic materials. The stability criterion not only recovers the critical stress value reported in the literature for simple elastic cases but also provides a criterion for visco-plastic materials with a general degradation function and fracture induced by cold-work.
Finally, we analyze the physical stability of both failure modes and their interaction. The analysis provides insight into the dominant failure mode and can be used as a criterion for mesh refinement. Several numerical results with different geometries and a range of strain rate loadings demonstrate that the stability criterion predicts well the onset of failure instability in dynamic fracture applications. For the example problems considered, if a fracture instability precedes shear banding, a brittle-like failure mode is observed, while if a shear band instability is initiated significantly before fracture, a ductile-like failure mode is expected. In any case, fracture instability is stronger than a shear band instability and if initiated will dominate the response.

Another contribution of this thesis is the development of numerical type stability methods based on the discretized model which can be employed within any finite element method. In this approach, a novel methodology to determine the onset of shear band localization is proposed, by casting the instability analysis as a generalized eigenvalue problem with a particular decomposition of the element Jacobian matrix. We show that this approach is attractive, as it is applicable to general rate dependent multidimensional cases and no special simplifying assumptions ought to be made. Furthermore, this technique is also applied to the fully coupled dynamic fracture problem and is shown to agree well with the analytical criteria.

Finally, we propose an alternative for identifying the instability point following a generalized stability analysis concept. In this framework, a stability measure is obtained by computing the instantaneous growth rate of the vector tangent to the solution. Such an approach is more appropriate for non-orthogonal problems and is easier to generalize to difficult dynamic fracture problems.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Thesis Advisors
Waisman, Haim
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 6, 2017