An unsymmetric double cantilever beam test for interfacial fracture toughness determination

Viswanathan Sundararaman, Barry D. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


An unsymmetric double cantilever beam test is described and its suitability for the determination of interfacial fracture toughness is evaluated. The test specimen consists of a beam-type geometry comprised of two materials, one 'top' and one 'bottom,' with a crack at one end along the bimaterial interface. The specimen is loaded in a splitting fashion similar to that of a conventional double cantilever beam test. Due to the dissimilar in-plane and out-of-plane deformations of the two legs, the load vs deflection response of the specimen is found to be nonlinear. A nonlinear plate theory is used to predict the deformations of the specimen, and these results are used in a crack tip element analysis to determine energy release rate and mode mixity. The analytical predictions are verified by comparisons to results from two-dimensional, geometrically nonlinear finite element continuum analyses for a variety of typical materials and test geometries. It is shown that, by varying the relative thicknesses of the two materials, the unsymmetric double cantilever beam test can be used on most bimaterial pairs to determine interfacial fracture toughness over a reasonably wide range of mode mixities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-817
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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