A numerical and experimental study on the multiple fracture progression of CFRP T-joints under pull-off load

Xueshi Ma, Hongguang Liu, Kan Bian, Jiyun Lu, Qingda Yang, Ke Xiong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper reports a combined numerical and experimental study on the multiple fracture evolution in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) T-joints under pull-off load. The experimental study successfully captured the sequential fracture initiation and evolution involving a complex interplay among noodle cracking, noodle-skin and skin-stiffener delamination, and their correlation with the load-displacement curves. Numerically, two independent numerical methods, (a) the extend finite element method (X-FEM) available in ABAQUS, and (b) the augmented finite element (A-FEM) method, are used to cross-check their predictive capability in modeling progressive fracture evolution in the T-joints. It is found that, although the nonlinear load-displacement curves predicted by both methods are consistent with experimental data, their predictions on fracture progression responsible for final failure are different. The A-FEM prediction is in good agreement with experimental record while the X-FEM's prediction is inaccurate. Finally, the validated A-FEM model is coupled with the Binary Model to quantify the improvement in fracture resistance using the Z-pin reinforcement technique. The simulation results, which are validated by previously reported experimental data, show that properly arranged Z-pin reinforcement can improve the fracture tolerance and significantly delay the final failure of T-joints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105541
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • Augmented finite element
  • Binary model
  • CFRP T-joint
  • Delamination
  • Noodle cracking
  • Z-pin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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