A stochastic model of damage accumulation in complex microstructures

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A statistical approach for modeling fracture in brittle materials is presented. In particular, a microstructural-based finite element code called OOF is used in conjunction with a stochastic representation of failure that relies on the Weibull law. The OOF code, which maps materials microstructures onto finite element meshes, enables to calculate the local stress states; these stresses are used along with the statistical criterion for brittle fracture in order to determine microcrack formation and propagation. Computer simulations are performed on several microstructures of different materials types, e.g., laminates, particulate composites and polycrystals. The damage accumulation due to microcracking is characterized by the stereological measure of failed material and is investigated in order to assess the effect of microstructural features on the failure mechanism. Moreover, the approach allows to analyze the influence of the characteristic parameters for brittle materials on damage evolution.

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