Crack extension at an interface: prediction of fracture toughness and simulation of crack path deviation


Ductile tearing of laser welded Al sheets is studied both experimentally and numerically. The mechanical behaviour and the microstructure of the various zones of the weld are characterised. Mechanical tests on compact tension (C(T))-specimen are carried out, with the position of the initial crack in the heat affected zone. Due to the asymmetry of the configuration, crack path deviation towards the softer fusion zone is observed. The topography of the non-planar fracture surface is measured using laser equipment. This work is focussed on the prediction of the fracture resistance and the simulation of crack path deviation for the respective configuration. The numerical simulations are based on two different models for ductile damage: the micromechanical Gurson-Tvergaard-Needleman (GTN) model and the phenomenological cohesive model. In the case of the GTN-model, the crack front may follow an arbitrary path. In contrast, the crack propagation direction for the cohesive model is prescribed by the morphology of the finite element mesh. The GTN-model is used to investigate crack path deviation and to derive limits for simplifications used together with the cohesive approach. The latter allows for a cost-efficient 2D simulation. Good agreement between experimental results and numerical simulations could be achieved in all cases.
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