Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



This study investigates the failure behavior of two types of composite materials using damage models within the framework of ABAQUS finite element software. The failure behavior of an IM7/977-2 carbon epoxy composite material subjected to a Mode I delamination is predicted using traction-separation and bulk material damage models that are based on disturbed state concept (DSC) principles. The models were validated by comparing the results to referenced laboratory testing performed on IM7/977-2 carbon epoxy composite. The damaged states associated with various stages of loading are presented in this study. This study also predicts the failure behavior of asphalt materials through the use of damage models using the principles of the DSC. Traction-separation crack response, damage initiation and damage evolution behavior are investigated by modeling pavement systems consisting of a hot mix asphalt (HMA) overlay above an existing HMA layer and subjected to an applied static wheel loading. Preexisting cracks located within the existing asphalt material are also considered. The extended finite element method (XFEM) was employed to model mesh-independent cracking. The finite element model was validated by comparing the results to indirect tensile laboratory testing and referenced direct tensile laboratory data-based results performed on asphalt samples. The validated model was then used to examine damage in a pavement system with and without preexisting cracks.


Polymeric composites--Fatigue--Computer simulation, Composite materials--Delamination--Computer simulation, Pavements, Asphalt--Cracking--Computer simulation, Pavements--Overlays--Cracking--Computer simulation, Finite element method.


NASA Experimental Project to Stimulate Competitive Research

Document Type




Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Tarefder, Rafiqul

First Committee Member (Chair)

Ng, Tang-Tat

Second Committee Member

Maji, Arup