Initiation and propagation of complex 3D networks of cracks in heterogeneous quasi-brittle materials: direct comparison between in situ testing-microCT experiments and phase field simulations

Abstract : We provide the first direct comparisons, to our knowledge, of complex 3D micro cracking initiation and propagation in heterogeneous quasi-brittle materials modelled by the phase field numerical method and observed in X-ray microtomography images recorded during in situ mechanical testing. Some material parameters of the damage model, including the process zone (internal) length, are identified by an inverse approach combining experimental data and 3D simulations. A new technique is developed to study the micro cracking at a finer scale by prescribing the local displacements measured by digital volume correlation over the boundary of a small sub-volume inside the sample during the numerical simulations. The comparisons, performed on several samples of lightweight plaster and concrete, show a remarkable quantitative agreement between the 3D crack morphology obtained by the model and by the experiments, without any a priori knowledge about the location of the initiation of the cracks in the numerical model. The results indicate that the crack paths can be predicted in a fully deterministic way in spite of the highly random geometry of the microstructure and the brittle nature of its constituents.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 13, 2016 - 4:03:39 PM
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Thanh Tung Nguyen, Julien Yvonnet, Michel Bornert, Camille Chateau. Initiation and propagation of complex 3D networks of cracks in heterogeneous quasi-brittle materials: direct comparison between in situ testing-microCT experiments and phase field simulations. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Elsevier, 2016, 95, pp.320-350. ⟨10.1016/j.jmps.2016.06.004⟩. ⟨hal-01331213⟩

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