Numerical Simulation of Crack Growth in Polyethylene Composites by Means of the Cohesive Zone Model



Summary: The cohesive zone model is used for the numerical simulation of crack growth in homogeneous specimens made of two different grades of polyethylene (PE) as well as in PE-bimaterials. The material data and the shapes of the cohesive function are deduced from experimental data by Ivankovic et al., Eng. Fract. Mech. 71, 2004, 657–668 and Ting et al., Polym. Eng. Sci. 46, 2006, 763–777. Fracture toughness parameters are evaluated from the simulated load versus displacement curves. The results show a significant influence of the arrangement of the two PE-grades in the bimaterial specimens, caused by both the different material properties and the different characteristic parameters of the cohesive function.