Predictions of J integral and tensile strength of clay/epoxy nanocomposites material using phase field model

Mohammed A. Msekh, M. Silani, M. Jamshidian, P. Areias, X. Zhuang, Goangseup Zi, P. He, Timon Rabczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


We predict macroscopic fracture related material parameters of fully exfoliated clay/epoxy nanocomposites based on their fine scale features. Fracture is modeled by a phase field approach which is implemented as user subroutines UEL and UMAT in the commercial finite element software Abaqus. The phase field model replaces the sharp discontinuities with a scalar damage field representing the diffuse crack topology through controlling the amount of diffusion by a regularization parameter. Two different constitutive models for the matrix and the clay platelets are used; the nonlinear coupled system consisting of the equilibrium equation and a diffusion-type equation governing the phase field evolution are solved via a Newton-Raphson approach. In order to predict the tensile strength and fracture toughness of the clay/epoxy composites we evaluated the J integral for different specimens with varying cracks. The effect of different geometry and material parameters, such as the clay weight ratio (wt.%) and the aspect ratio of clay platelets are studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 15


  • A. Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs)
  • B. Fracture
  • B. Interface/interphase
  • C. Computational modelling
  • C. Finite element analysis (FEA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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