A phase–field model for fracture of unidirectional fiber–reinforced polymer matrix composites

Funda Aksu Denli, Osman Gültekin, Gerhard Holzapfel, Hüsnü Dal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents a crack phase-field approach for anisotropic continua to model, in particular, fracture of fiber-reinforced matrix composites. Starting with the variational formulation of the multi-field problem of fracture in terms of the deformation and the crack phase fields, the governing equations feature the evolution of the anisotropic crack phase-field and the balance of linear momentum, presented for finite and small strains. A recently proposed energy-based anisotropic failure criterion is incorporated into the model with a constitutive threshold function regulating the crack initiation in regard to the matrix and the fibers in a superposed framework. Representative numerical examples are shown for the crack initiation and propagation in unidirectional fiber-reinforced polymer composites under Mode-I, Mode-II and mixed-mode bending. Model parameters are obtained by fitting to sets of experimental data. The associated finite element results are able to capture anisotropic crack initiation and growth in unidirectional fiber-reinforced composite laminates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1166
Number of pages18
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Anisotropic failure criterion
  • Crack phase-field model
  • Failure
  • Fiber-reinforced polymers
  • Fracture
  • FRP composites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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