Limitations on the use of the mixed-mode delaminating beam test specimen : Effects of the size of the region of K-dominance

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-308
Journal / PublicationMechanics of Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


The mixed-mode delaminating beam (MMDB) is a widely used test geometry designed to measure the fracture resistance of bimaterial interfaces under mixed-mode loading conditions. In the present work, linear-elastic finite element analyses are employed to determine the complex stress intensity factor, K, for an interfacial crack in this sample; results are found to confirm those of previous studies of the bilayer specimen. However, the numerical results further reveal that the region of K-dominance near the crack tip is very limited, extending merely ∼ 1/100 to 1/1000 of the sample height, about an order of magnitude smaller than for other common fracture-mechanics test samples. Analyses performed for this specimen geometry modified to include a thin sandwiched interlayer also indicate a very limited region of K-dominance, for example, extending ∼ 1/10 of the height of the sandwiched layer from the crack tip for very thin sandwiched layers. For the sandwiched geometry, two situations leading to a useful small scale yielding condition are described. Examples of the use of this specimen in the evaluation of the fracture toughness of ceramic joints are cited from the literature and comparisons are made between the size of the K-dominant region and the extent of crack tip plasticity. Based on these comparisons, the geometry-independent predictive power of linear-elastic fracture mechanics for common bimaterial couples and specimen dimensions using this geometry is challenged.

Research Area(s)

  • Interface fracture, K-dominance, MMDB specimen, Small scale yielding

Citation Format(s)