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A novel approach for 3D discrete element modelling the progressive delamination in unidirectional CFRP composites

Wan, Lei; Sheng, Yong; McCarthy, Edward D.; Yang, Dongmin


Lei Wan

Edward D. McCarthy

Dongmin Yang


This study proposed a novel approach based on the 3D discrete element method (DEM) to simulate the progressive delamination in unidirectional carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composite laminates. A hexagonal packing strategy was used for modelling 0∘ representative plies, the interface between different plies was modelled with one bond and seven bonds following the conservation of energy principle and a power law. The number of representative layers and the stiffness of bonds within these layers were calibrated with a comparison of results obtained from finite element method and theoretical analysis. DEM simulations of delamination with both interface models were conducted on unidirectional composites for double cantilever beam (DCB), end-loaded split (ELS) and fixed-ratio mixed-mode (FRMM) tests. It was found that the seven-bond interface model has a better agreement with experimental data in all three tests than the one-bond interface model by adopting the proposed seven-bond arrangement in terms of the progressive delamination process. The main advantages of the present interface model are its simplicity, robustness and computational efficiency when elastic bonds are used in the DEM models.


Wan, L., Sheng, Y., McCarthy, E. D., & Yang, D. (2023). A novel approach for 3D discrete element modelling the progressive delamination in unidirectional CFRP composites. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 277, Article 108982.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 25, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 2, 2022
Publication Date 2023-01
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 11, 2023
Journal Engineering Fracture Mechanics
Print ISSN 0013-7944
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 277
Article Number 108982
Keywords Carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite (CFRP); Discrete element method (DEM); Delamination; Conservation of energy principle; Critical fracture energy
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