Robust Finite Element Implementation of Damage-based Cohesive Zone Models: Application to Composite Delamination and Hydrofracturing of Glaciers
Modeling and simulating brittle and quasi-brittle fracture mechanisms is important to characterizing the failure behavior of laminated composite materials and understanding iceberg calving from Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves. In laminated fiber-reinforced composites, delamination is one of the most dominant failure mechanisms, which involves progressive damage accumulation along interlaminar interfaces. Hydrofracturing can destabilize Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves and promote iceberg calving, which is one of the most enigmatic glaciological processes and can contribute to rapid global sea-level rise in the coming centuries. This dissertation presents novel and robust damage-based cohesive zone modeling approaches to simulate mixed-mode delamination in laminated composites, and hydrofracturing in glaciers and ice shelves. The two main contributions are a Nitsche-inspired stabilized finite element method for cohesive fracture and a poro-damage cohesive zone model for hydrofracture. Simulation studies, including verification and sensitivity studies, are conducted to establish the accuracy and efficacy of the finite element implementations for modeling composite delamination and crevasse propagation in glaciers.