K-dominance and size effect in mode I fracture of brittle materials with low to medium porosity

Dimitra Touliatou, Marcus A. Wheel

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics usually only considers the singular stresses when describing the conditions under which fracture would occur in a brittle material. However, it is becoming more widely recognised that non-singular stresses can become significant depending on the geometry and configuration of the specimen. This study investigates the impact of non-singular stresses on the stress intensity of low to medium porosity brittle materials. To address this, discrete finite element models of Double Cantilever Beam (DCB) samples were created and the full near-tip stress field in mode I loading was numerically evaluated. A parametric study was conducted, examining the influence of overall specimen size, material porosity and crack tip location relative to the nearest void. Results indicate a prominent size effect on the stress intensity at the crack tip of porous materials, with smaller specimen exhibiting tougher behaviour than their respective larger counterparts. This size effect, which is amplified with increasing porosity, is closely correlated with the variation of non-singular stresses, both parallel and normal to the crack plane. A model to predict the behaviour of porous specimen for different sizes is suggested based on the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Early online date9 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • porous materials
  • non-singular stresses
  • size effect
  • brittle fracture


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