Fracture resistance enhancement of layered structures by multiple cracks

Stergios Goutianos, Bent F. Sørensen

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A theoretical model is developed to test if the fracture resistance of a layered structure can be increased by introducing weak layers changing the cracking mechanism. An analytical model, based on the J integral, predicts a linear dependency between the number of cracks and the steady state fracture resistance. A finite element cohesive zone model, containing two cracking planes for simplicity, is used to check the theoretical model and its predictions. It is shown that for a wide range of cohesive law parameters, the numerical predictions agree well quantitatively with the theoretical model. Thus, it is possible to enhance considerably the fracture resistance of a structure by adding weak layers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Pages (from-to)92-108
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cohesive law
  • Delamination
  • Fracture resistance
  • J integral
  • Multiple cracks


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