Multi-length scale micromorphic process zone model

Franck Vernerey*, Wing Kam Liu, Brian Moran, Gregory Olson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The prediction of fracture toughness for hierarchical materials remains a challenging research issue because it involves different physical phenomena at multiple length scales. In this work, we propose a multiscale process zone model based on linear elastic fracture mechanics and a multiscale micromorphic theory. By computing the stress intensity factor in a K-dominant region while maintaining the mechanism of failure in the process zone, this model allows the evaluation of the fracture toughness of hierarchical materials as a function of their microstructural properties. After introducing a multi-length scale finite element formulation, an application is presented for high strength alloys, whose microstructure typically contains two populations of particles at different length scales. For this material, the design parameters comprise of the strength of the matrix-particle interface, the particle volume fraction and the strain-hardening of the matrix. Using the proposed framework, trends in the fracture toughness are computed as a function of design parameters, showing potential applications in computational materials design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-445
Number of pages13
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Ductile failure
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Materials design
  • Multi-length scale finite elements
  • Multiscale micromorphic theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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