A directed continuum damage mechanics method for modelling composite matrix cracks

Supratik Mukhopadhyay*, Stephen Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Matrix cracking in continuous fibre reinforced composites follows the fibre orientations, but continuum damage mechanics models are not able to properly capture this. A novel method is presented here to alleviate mesh sensitivity of the damage growth direction and represent discrete matrix cracks. In a ply-by-ply mesoscale model, matrix cracks within a ply usually rely on mesh dependent strain localisation to decide the crack growth direction. The newly proposed algorithm instead uses the ply level fibre orientation as a model input, and maintains crack advancement along this direction, based on a neighbour searching scheme. A further advantage is that it is able to represent individual cracks discretely, with a predefined minimum crack spacing. This overcomes another limitation of continuum damage models, where discrete cracks are only represented in a smeared sense. This procedure has been shown to be able to reproduce complex crack networks in multidirectional laminates, independent of the mesh pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalComposites Science and Technology
Early online date28 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2019

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Composites Institute ACCIS


  • A. Structural composites
  • B. Matrix cracking
  • C. Damage mechanics
  • C. Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Tracking algorithms


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