A combined interface phase field (CIPF) model for interfacial crack propagation

Chen Zhou, Jian He, Christian Berggreen, Xiaodan Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The phase field method has been very popular in the past decade because it can handle complex crack propagation problems without ad hoc criteria. In this paper, a combined interface phase field (CIPF) model is proposed to better investigate the fracture behaviours of composite systems with a finite-thickness interface. To build the CIPF model, a new numerical method named the modified crack surface displacement extrapolation (MCSDE) method is proposed to determine the real interfacial fracture toughness. Then, an effective interfacial fracture toughness is given based on the coupling relationship between the length scale parameter and the interface thickness. We investigate crack propagation behaviours in bi-material structures with varied initial notch positions and sandwich specimens using the CIPF model. The results show that the MCSDE method can effectively and accurately determine the interface fracture toughness, and the difference between the calculated results and the results obtained by the sing-leg bending (SLB) experiment is 6%. The CIPF model can not only simulate the propagation of cracks in bulk, but also simulate the propagation of cracks between interfaces. For different positions of the initial notch, the propagation patterns of cracks and the mechanical response of the structure are very different.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109779
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Combined interface phase field model
  • Effective fracture toughness
  • Interfacial crack propagation
  • MCSDE method
  • Phase field method


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