An exact theory of interfacial debonding in layered elastic composites

Chien Nguyen, Alan J. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


An exact theory of interfacial debonding is developed for a layered composite system consisting of distinct linear elastic slabs separated by nonlinear, nonuniform decohesive interfaces. Loading of the top and bottom external surfaces is defined pointwise while loading of the side surfaces is prescribed in the form of resultants. The work is motivated by the desire to develop a general tool to analyze the detailed features of debonding along uniform and nonuniform straight interfaces in slab systems subject to general loading. The methodology allows for the investigation of both solitary defect as well as multiple defect interaction problems. Interfacial integral equations, governing the normal and tangential displacement jump components at an interface of a slab system are developed from the Fourier series solution for the single slab subject to arbitrary loading on its surfaces. Interfaces are characterized by distinct interface force-displacement jump relations with crack-like defects modeled by an interface strength which varies with interface coordinate. Infinitesimal strain equilibrium solutions, which account for rigid body translation and rotation, are sought by eigenfunction expansion of the solution of the governing interfacial integral equations. Applications of the theory to the bilayer problem with a solitary defect or a defect pair, in both peeling and mixed load configurations are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2712-2723
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 15 2009


  • Cohesion
  • Debonding
  • Elasticity
  • Fracture
  • Imperfections
  • Integral equation
  • Interface
  • Layers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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