A numerical model to study the fatigue crack retardation in a self-healing material (White et al., 2001, Nature, 409, pp. 794–797) is presented. The approach relies on a combination of cohesive modeling for fatigue crack propagation and a contact algorithm to enforce crack closure due to an artificial wedge in the wake of the crack. The healing kinetics of the self-healing material is captured by introducing along the fracture plane a state variable representing the evolving degree of cure of the healing agent. The atomic-scale processes during the cure of the healing agent are modeled using a coarse-grain molecular dynamics model specifically developed for this purpose. This approach yields the cure kinetics and the mechanical properties as a function of the degree of cure, information that is transmitted to the continuum-scale models. The incorporation of healing kinetics in the model enables us to study the competition between fatigue crack growth and crack retardation mechanisms in this new class of materials. A systematic study of the effect of different loading and healing parameters shows a good qualitative agreement between experimental observations and simulation results.
Continuum and Molecular-Level Modeling of Fatigue Crack Retardation in Self-Healing Polymers
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Maiti, S., Shankar, C., Geubelle, P. H., and Kieffer, J. (May 19, 2006). "Continuum and Molecular-Level Modeling of Fatigue Crack Retardation in Self-Healing Polymers." ASME. J. Eng. Mater. Technol. October 2006; 128(4): 595–602. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2345452
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