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

76 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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The first author would like to thank the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Iraq (MoHESR) and Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst DAAD for their support through BaghDAAD program. We like to acknowledge DFG, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in the framework of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award and ITN-INSIST. The support of the High-End Foreign Expert Program is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


  • 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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