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Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1321;

Calibration of a Cohesive Model for Fracture in Low Cross-Linked Epoxy Resins

Departamento de Ciencia de los Materiales e Ingeniería Metalúrgica y Química Inorgánica, Campus de Puerto Real, 11510 Cádiz, Spain
Unievrsité de Grenoble, CNRS, F-38000 Grenoble, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Behavior of Polymers)
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Polymer-based composites are becoming widely used for structural applications, in particular in the aeronautic industry. The present investigation focuses on the mechanical integrity of an epoxy resin of which possible damage results in limitation or early stages of dramatic failure. Therefore, a coupled experimental and numerical investigation of failure in an epoxy resin thermoset is carried out that opens the route to an overall micromechanical analysis of thermoset-based composites. In the present case, failure is preceded by noticeable plasticity in the form of shear bands similar to observations in ductile glassy polymers. Thus, an elastic-visco-plastic constitutive law initially devoted to glassy polymer is adopted that captures the rate- dependent yield stress followed by softening and progressive hardening at continued deformation. A general rate-dependent cohesive model is used to describe the failure process. The parameters involved in the description are carefully identified and used in a finite element calculation to predict the material’s toughness for different configurations. Furthermore, the present work allows investigation of nucleation and crack growth in such resins. In particular, a minimum toughness can be derived from the model which is difficult to evaluate experimentally and allows accounting for the notch effect on the onset of failure. This is thought to help in designing polymer-based composites. View Full-Text
Keywords: crazing; cohesive zone; epoxy RTM; elastic-viscoplastic crack tip fields crazing; cohesive zone; epoxy RTM; elastic-viscoplastic crack tip fields

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Torres, D.; Guo, S.; Villar, M.-P.; Araujo, D.; Estevez, R. Calibration of a Cohesive Model for Fracture in Low Cross-Linked Epoxy Resins. Polymers 2018, 10, 1321.

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