Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research

An eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) study on the effect of reinforcing particles on the crack propagation behavior in a metal–matrix composite

Chang Ye, University of Akron, Main campus
Jay Shi
Gary J. Cheng


In this paper, the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) was integrated in ABAQUS to simulate crack propagation and to predict the effect of reinforcing particles to the crack propagation behavior of Al2O3/Al6061 composite materials. It has been demonstrated that, higher reinforcing particle volume fraction leads to improved fatigue resistance and smaller particles size is more effective than larger particles at the same particle volume fraction. The underlying mechanisms of these effects are systematically investigated. The stress fields captured by XFEM during the crack propagation help in understanding the crack propagation behavior during cyclic loading.