Poroelastic toughening in polymer gels: A theoretical and numerical study

Poroelastic toughening in polymer gels: A theoretical and numerical study We explore the Mode I fracture toughness of a polymer gel containing a semi-infinite, growing crack. First, an expression is derived for the energy release rate within the linearized, small-strain setting. This expression reveals a crack tip velocity-independent toughening that stems from the poroelastic nature of polymer gels. Then, we establish a poroelastic cohesive zone model that allows us to describe the micromechanics of fracture in gels by identifying the role of solvent pressure in promoting poroelastic toughening. We evaluate the enhancement in the effective fracture toughness through asymptotic analysis. We confirm our theoretical findings by means of numerical simulations concerning the case of a steadily propagating crack. In broad terms, our results explain the role of poroelasticity and of the processes occurring in the fracturing region in promoting toughening of polymer gels. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids Elsevier

Poroelastic toughening in polymer gels: A theoretical and numerical study

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0022-5096
eISSN
1873-4782
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.jmps.2016.04.017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We explore the Mode I fracture toughness of a polymer gel containing a semi-infinite, growing crack. First, an expression is derived for the energy release rate within the linearized, small-strain setting. This expression reveals a crack tip velocity-independent toughening that stems from the poroelastic nature of polymer gels. Then, we establish a poroelastic cohesive zone model that allows us to describe the micromechanics of fracture in gels by identifying the role of solvent pressure in promoting poroelastic toughening. We evaluate the enhancement in the effective fracture toughness through asymptotic analysis. We confirm our theoretical findings by means of numerical simulations concerning the case of a steadily propagating crack. In broad terms, our results explain the role of poroelasticity and of the processes occurring in the fracturing region in promoting toughening of polymer gels.

Journal

Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of SolidsElsevier

Published: Sep 1, 2016

References

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