Crack kinking at the tip of a mode I crack in an orthotropic solid.

05 Feb 2018

The competition between crack penetration and crack kinking is addressed for a mode I macroscopic crack in an orthotropic elastic solid. Cohesive zones of finite peak strength and finite toughness are placed directly ahead of and orthogonal to the plane of the parent crack. The cohesive zone ahead of the crack tip is tensile in nature and leads to crack penetration, whereas the inclined zones slide without opening under a combined shear and normal traction, and give crack kinking. Thereby, the competition between continued crack growth by penetration ahead of the crack tip versus kinking is determined as a function of the relative strength and relative toughness of the cohesive zones. This competition is plotted in the form of a failure mechanism map, with the role of material orthotropy emphasized. Synergistic toughening is observed, whereby the parent crack tip is shielded by the activation of both the tensile and shear (kinking) cohesive zones, and the macroscopic toughness is elevated. The study is used to assess the degree to which various classes of composite have the tendency to undergo kinking.