Computer Simulation Of Fatigue Under Diametrical Compression
We study the fatigue fracture of disordered materials by means of computer simulations of a discrete element model. We extend a two-dimensional fracture model to capture the microscopic mechanisms relevant for fatigue and we simulate the diametric compression of a disc shape specimen under a constant external force. The model allows us to follow the development of the fracture process on the macrolevel and microlevel varying the relative influence of the mechanisms of damage accumulation over the load history and healing of microcracks. As a specific example we consider recent experimental results on the fatigue fracture of asphalt. Our numerical simulations show that for intermediate applied loads the lifetime of the specimen presents a power law behavior. Under the effect of healing, more prominent for small loads compared to the tensile strength of the material, the lifetime of the sample increases and a fatigue limit emerges below which no macroscopic failure occurs. The numerical results are in a good qualitative agreement with the experimental findings.
Keywords: Fatigue Fracture, Disordered Materials, Discrete element Model