Failure process of a bundle of plastic fibers.


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We present an extension of fiber bundle models considering that failed fibers still carry a fraction 0 <=alpha <= 1 of their failure load. The value of alpha interpolates between the perfectly brittle failure (alpha=0) and perfectly plastic behavior (alpha=1) of fibers. We show that the finite load bearing capacity of broken fibers has a substantial effect on the failure process of the bundle. In the case of global load sharing it is found that for alpha -> 1 the macroscopic response of the bundle becomes perfectly plastic with a yield stress equal to the average fiber strength. On the microlevel, the size distribution of avalanches has a crossover from a power law of exponent approximate to 2.5 to a faster exponential decay. For localized load sharing, computer simulations revealed a sharp transition at a well-defined value alpha(c) from a phase where macroscopic failure occurs due to localization as a consequence of local stress enhancements, to another one where the disordered fiber strength dominates the damage process. Analyzing the microstructure of damage, the transition proved to be analogous to percolation. At the critical point alpha(c), the spanning cluster of damage is found to be compact with a fractal boundary. The distribution of bursts of fiber breakings shows a power-law behavior with a universal exponent approximate to 1.5 equal to the mean-field exponent of fiber bundles of critical strength distributions. The model can be relevant to understand the shear failure of glued interfaces where failed regions can still transmit load by remaining in contact.
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