Fracture mechanics and micromechanics of composite materials

The fracture-mechanics group consists of two senior researchers, one part-time senior researcher, four junior researchers and 2 PhD students. Officially the group was established in 2015. However, unofficially it has existed for far longer as it was a part of larger group belonging to structural mechanics. The group focuses on theoretical/computational aspects of fracture mechanics of heterogeneous materials and composites. Thanks to tight cooperation with the fracture group of the Institute of Physics of Materials CAS, which primarily focuses on experimental research, the group has highly flexible access to all necessary experimental data.

Main activities of the group

  • Analytical/Numerical simulations of the material failure
  • Fracture mechanics of general stress concentrators
  • Predictions of the crack propagation in the vicinity of material interfaces.
  • Fracture mechanics of anisotropic and non-homogeneous materials.
  • Modelling of multilayer structures and their response under various operational conditions.
  • Modelling of the ceramic foam response to mechanical load.
  • Optimization of structure and material design to enhance their fracture resistance
  • Thermal and mechanical stress-strain FE analyses of the general structures.
  • Computational support for the crack free material (component) processing.
  • Application of higher order continua to capture the micro-structure length scale of material

Selected experiences in details

Material models

  • Linear/non-linear models.
  • Isotropic/orthotropic/anisotropic material models.
  • Homogeneous and non-homogeneous materials.
  • Creep material models.
  • Piezoelectric material models.
  • Gradient elasticity models

Mathematical background of the material modelling

  • FE methods, integral equations technique, complex potentials technique, weight function technique
  • Combined FEM/analytical treatment of general stress concentrators.
  • Continuously distributed dislocation technique
  • Matched asymptotic expansion technique

Homogenization techniques

  • Substitutions of the complex (composite) material structures by effective continuum models.
  • Modelling of complex material structure in terms of higher order continuum

Simulations of composite materials and multilayer structures

  • Fracture Mechanics of isotropic/anisotropic composite materials.
  • FM of Ceramic based multilayer structures containing high residual stresses and optimization of their resistance to fracture.
  • Modelling of ceramic-metal based electronic components and assessment of their fracture-mechanics response under various operational conditions.
  • Modelling of fracture in long fibre composites.

Modelling of foam materials

  • Creation of complex 3D FE models (based on mCT technology).
  • Analysis of the foam geometrical characteristics.
  • FE based multiscale modelling of the foam structure (realistic, simplified, continuum models).
  • FE analyses of the foam structure response to various loading.

Fracture mechanics of Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBC)

  • Numerical analysis of the residual stress distribution.
  • Fracture-mechanics assessment of the coatings and predictions of their failure
  • Optimization of the TBC composition.

Kontaktní osoba
Prof. RNDr. Michal Kotoul, DrSc.

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