Simulation Of Crack Propagation In Rubber

C. Timbrell, M. Wiehahn & G. Cook, Zentech International Ltd., Camberley, Surrey, UK
A.H. Muhr, TARRC/Rubber Consultants, Hertford, UK

Proceedings of the Third European Conference On Constitutive Models For Rubber, London, England, Sep 15-17 2003

Software for simulating crack propagation ("Zencrack") has been developed which handles adaptation of the finite element mesh in the region of the crack tip as the crack propagates, and calls up a finite element solver as a subroutine to calculate the strain energy release rate at each increment in crack length. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate its applicability to rubber components.
First, the reliability of Zencrack, with ABAQUS as the solver, for calculations of strain energy release rate for an edge crack in a strip of rubber in simple extension is investigated. The results are in reasonable agreement with previous analyses and experimental work from the literature. 3D analyses show that the crack front would be ex-pected to develop curvature during propagation. The application of Zencrack to failure of "O" rings by internal cracking is also presented to show how the approach could be applied to a rubber component.