Crack propagation on highly heterogeneous composite materials
09 / 2006 - 09 / 2008
In engineering structures the possibility of existence of small cracks cannot be neglected, as it may lead to huge disasters. To tackle this problem, special cares should be taken in the design and construction of structures. In some situations, the repair or replacement of fractured structures might be the correct way to proceed. However, this is not always possible nor desirable. Firstly, it may be expensive or technically difficult to do so. On the other hand, the mere fact of having a defect on a structure does not mean it is not safe anymore. In the past years, increasing demands for energy and material convervation have been dictating that the structures be assigned with a smaller safety margin. This makes accurate estimates of the flaw tolerance of structures increasingly important. The current problems on Fracture mechanics have typically been viewed from the macroscopic or the microscopic points of view. In this project, we aim at obtaining a link between both points of view, by looking at the problem at the meso-scale level.