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research-article

An investigation of the stepwise Mode I crack propagation in hydrogels

[+] Author and Article Information
Jingqian Ding

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO BOX 513, 5600 MB, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
j.ding@tue.nl

Ernst W. Remij

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO BOX 513, 5600 MB, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
ernst_remij@hotmail.com

Joris J.C. Remmers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO BOX 513, 5600 MB, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
j.j.c.remmers@tue.nl

Jacques M. Huyghe

Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
jacques.huyghe@ul.ie

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040334 History: Received April 12, 2018; Revised May 14, 2018

Abstract

Stepwise crack propagation is evidently observed in experiments both in geomaterials and in hydrogels. Pizzocolo et al. show experimental evidence that mode I crack propagation in hydrogel is stepwise. The pattern of the intermittent crack growth is influenced by many factors, such as porosity of the material, the permeability of the fluid, the stiffness of the material etc. The pause duration time is negatively correlated with the stiffness of the material, while the average propagation length per step is positively correlated. In this paper, we integrate extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) and Enhanced Local Pressure Method (ELP), and incorporate cohesive relation to reproduce Pizzocolo et al.'s experiments in the finite deformation regime. We investigate the stepwise phenomenon in air and in water respectively under mode I fracture. Our simulations show that despite the homogeneous material properties, the crack growth under mode I fracture is stepwise and this pattern is influenced by the hydraulic permeability and the porosity of the material. Simulated pause duration is negatively correlated with stiffness and the average propagating length is positively correlated with stiffness. In order to eliminate the numerical artefacts, we also take different time increments into consideration. The staccato propagation does not disappear with smaller time increments, the pattern is approximately insensitive to the time increment. However, we do not observe stepwise crack growth scheme when we simulate fracture in homogeneous rocks.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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