Continuous and discontinuous modelling of ductile fracture
Dissertatie 1 (Onderzoek Tu/E / Promotie Tu/E)Mediavilla Varas, J. (2005). Continuous and discontinuous modelling of ductile fracture. Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. ((Co-)promot.: Marc Geers & Ron Peerlings).
In many metal forming processes (e.g. blanking, trimming, clipping, machining, cutting)
fracture is triggered in order to induce material separation along with a desired
product geometry. This type of fracture is preceded by a certain amount of plastic
deformation and requires additional energy to be supplied in order for the crack to
propagate. It is known as ductile fracture, as opposed to brittle fracture (as in ceramics,
concrete, etc). Ductile fracture originates at a microscopic level, as the result of
voids initiated at inclusions in the material matrix. These microscopic degradation
processes lead to the degradation of the macroscopic mechanical properties, causing
softening, strain localisation and finally the formation of macroscopic cracks.
The initiation and propagation of cracks has traditionally been studied by fracture
mechanics. Yet, the application of this theory to ductile fracture, where highly
nonlinear degradation processes (material and geometrical) take place in the fracture
process zone, raises many questions. To model these processes, continuum models
can be used, either in the form of softening plasticity or continuum damage mechanics.
Yet, continuous models can not be applied to model crack propagation, because
displacements are no longer continuous across the crack. Hence, a proper model for
ductile fracture requires a different approach, one that combines a continuous softening
model with a strategy to represent cracks, i.e. displacement discontinuities.
This has been the main goal of the present work. In a combined approach, the direction
of crack propagation is automatically determined by the localisation pattern,
and its rate strongly depends on the evolution of damage (or other internal variables
responsible for the strain softening). This contrasts with fracture mechanics, where
the material behaviour is not directly linked to the crack propagation criteria.
Softening materials have to be supplied with an internal length, which acts as
a localisation limiter, thereby ensuring the well-posedness of the governing partial
differential equations and mesh independent results. For this purpose, a nonlocal
gradient enhancement has been used in this work, which gives similar results to
nonlocal models of an integral form.
A number of numerical methods are available to model displacement discontinuities
in a continuum. In the present context, we have used a remeshing strategy, since
it has additional advantages when used with large strain localising material models:
it prevents excessive element distortions and allows to optimise the element distriviii
bution through mesh adaptivity.
As a first step towards a continuum-discontinuum approach, an uncoupled damage
model is used first, in which damage merely acts as a crack initiation-propagation
indicator, without causing material softening. Since uncoupled models do not
lead to material localisation, no regularisation is needed. Yet, uncoupled approaches
can not capture the actual failure mechanisms and therefore, in general, can give reliable
results only when the size of the fracture process zone is so small that its effect
can be neglected.
When the size of the fracture process zone is large enough, a truly combined
model must be used, which is developed in the second part of this study. Due to
softening, the transition from the continuous damage material to the discrete crack
occurs gradually, with little stress redistribution, in contrast with the previous uncoupled
approach. The gradient regularised softening behaviour is introduced in the
yield behaviour of an elastoplastic material. The combined model has been applied
satisfactorily to the prediction of ductile failure under shear loading conditions.
Third, to be able to apply the model to more general loading conditions, the material
description has been improved by introducing the influence of stress triaxiality
in the damage evolution of a gradient regularised elastoplastic damage model. The
model has been obtained using the continuum damage mechanics concept of effective
stress. Results show how compressive (tensile) states of triaxiality may increase
(decrease) the material ductility.
Finally, the combined approach is applied to the modelling of actual metal forming
processes, e.g. blanking, fine blanking, score forming. The gradient regularisation
has been implemented in an operator-split manner, which can be very appealing
for engineering purposes. To capture the large strain gradients in the localisation
zones, a new mesh adaptivity criterion has been proposed. The results of the simulations
are in good agreement with experimental data from literature.