Publication: Validating Theories for Brittle Damage

R.M. Brannon, J.M. Wells, and O.E. Strack

Realistic-looking, uneven damage zones in Brazilian simulations compare favorably with laboratory data for observable damage

Validating simulated predictions of internal damage within armor ceramics is preferable to simply assessing a models ability to predict penetration depth, especially if one hopes to perform subsequent ‘‘second strike’’ analyses. We present the results of a study in which crack networks are seeded by using a statistically perturbed strength, the median of which is inherited from a deterministic ‘‘smeared damage’’ model, with adjustments to reflect experimentally established size effects. This minor alteration of an otherwise conventional damage model noticeably mitigates mesh dependencies and, at virtually no computational cost, produces far more realistic cracking patterns that are well suited for validation against X-ray computed tomography (XCT) images of internal damage patterns. For Brazilian, spall, and indentation tests, simulations share qualitative features with externally visible damage. However, the need for more stringent quantitative validation, software quality testing, and subsurface XCT validation, is emphasized.

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Publication: On a viscoplastic model for rocks with mechanism-dependent characteristic times

A. F. Fossum and R. M. Brannon

Rate Dependance

This paper summarizes the results of a theoretical and experimental program at Sandia National Laboratories aimed at identifying and modeling key physical features of rocks and rock-like materials at the laboratory scale over a broad range of strain rates. The mathematical development of a constitutive model is discussed and model predictions versus experimental data are given for a suite of laboratory tests. Concurrent pore collapse and cracking at the microscale are seen as competitive micromechanisms that give rise to the well-known macroscale phenomenon of a transition from volumetric compaction to dilatation under quasistatic triaxial compression. For high-rate loading, this competition between pore collapse and microcracking also seems to account for recently identified differences in strain-rate sensitivity between uniaxial-strain ‘‘plate slap’’ data compared to uniaxial-stress Kolsky bar data. A description is given of how this work supports ongoing efforts to develop a predictive capability in simulating deformation and failure of natural geological materials, including those that contain structural features such as joints and other spatial heterogeneities.

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Publication: The Use of Sphere Indentation Experiments to Characterize Ceramic Damage Models

R.B. Leavy; R.M. Brannon; O.E. Strack

Weibull modulus effect on radial cracking in boron carbide simulations impacted at 400 m/s.

Sphere impact experiments are used to calibrate and validate ceramic models that include statistical variability and/or scale effects in strength and toughness parameters. These dynamic experiments supplement traditional characterization experiments such as tension, triaxial compression, Brazilian, and plate impact, which are commonly used for ceramic model calibration.The fractured ceramic specimens are analyzed using sectioning, X-ray computed tomography, microscopy, and other techniques. These experimental observations indicate that a predictive material model must incorporate a standard deviation in strength that varies with the nature of the loading. Methods of using the spherical indentation data to calibrate a statistical damage model are presented in which it is assumed that variability in strength is tied to microscale stress concentrations associated with microscale heterogeneity.

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Publication: Advances in X-ray Computed Tomography Diagnostics of Ballistic Impact Damage

J.M. Wells and R.M. Brannon

Dynamic indentation of SiC-N ceramic by a tungsten carbide sphere. Left: experimentally observed impact crater and radial cracking (both highlighted for clarity). Middle: BFS model prediction of externally visible damage. Right: prediction of internal damage (suitable for validation against XCT data).

With the relatively recent introduction of quantitative and volumetric X-ray computedtomography (XCT) applied to ballistic impact damage diagnostics, significant inroads have beenmade in expanding our knowledge base of the morphological variants of physical impactdamage. Yet, the current state of the art in computational and simulation modeling of terminalballistic performance remains predominantly focused on the penetration phenomenon, withoutdetailed consideration of the physical characteristics of actual impact damage. Similarly, armorceramic material improvements appear more focused on penetration resistance than on improved intrinsic damage tolerance and damage resistance. Basically, these approaches minimizeour understanding of the potential influence that impact damage may play in the mitigation orprevention of ballistic penetration. Examples of current capabilities of XCT characterization,quantification, and visualization of complex impact damage variants are demonstrated anddiscussed for impacted ceramic and metallic terminal ballistic target materials. Potential benefitsof incorporating such impact damage diagnostics in future ballistic computational modeling arealso briefly discussed.

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Research: Radial cracking as a means to infer aleatory uncertainty parameters

Aleatory uncertainty in constitutive modeling refers to the intrinsic variability in material properties caused by differences in micromorphology (e.g., grain orientation or size, microcracks, inclusions, etc.) from sample to sample. Accordingly, a numerical simulation of a nominally axisymmetric problem must be run in full 3D (non-axisymmetric) mode if there is any possibility of a bifurcation from stability.

Dynamic indentation experiments, in which a spherical ball impacts to top free surface of a cylindrical specimen, nicely illustrate that fracture properties must have spatial variability — in fact, the intrinsic instability that leads to radial cracking is regarded by the Utah CSM group as a potential inexpensive means of inferring the spatial frequency of natural variations in material properties.

Radial cracking in dynamic indentation experiments.

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Accelerated hip implant wear testing

3D model Experimental Setup

Rim cracking of polyethylene acetabular liners and squeaking in ceramic components are two important potential failure modes of hip implants, but the loads and stresses that cause such failures are not well understood. Contact stresses in hip implants are analyzed under worst case load conditions to develop new wear testing methods to improve the pre-clinical evaluation of next-generation hip implants and their materials. Complicated full-scale hip implant simulator tests are expensive and take months to complete. A primary goal of this work is to find inexpensive surrogate specimen shapes and loading modes that can, in inexpensive lab tests taking only a few hours, produce the same wear patterns as seen in full-scale prototype testing. Continue reading