Three-dimensional fracture analysis of thin-film debonding

Herzl Chai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simplified mixed-mode fracture analysis combining nonlinear thin-plate stress solutions with crack-tip elasticity results has been developed to account for local variations of GI, GII and GIII in thin-film debond problems associated with large film deformations. Membrane and bending stresses from the plate analysis are matched with the crack-tip singularity solution over a small boundary region at the crack tip where the effect of geometric nonlinearity is small. Local variations in each of the individual components of the energy release rate are directly related to the "jump" in these stresses across the crack border. Specific results are presented for 1-D and elliptical planeform cracks. Deformations were induced either by a pressure acting normal to the film surface or biaxial compression or tension stresses applied to the substrate in which the loading axes and debond axes coincide. The latter type of loading involves buckling of the delaminated film. The model predictions compare well with more rigorous solutions provided the film thickness is small compared to the debond dimensions. In all cases analyzed, GIII was negligible. The ratio GI/GII typically decreases with increasing load or film deformation, the rate was moderate for pressure loading while generally sharp for compression loading. Film-substrate overlap may occur for certain debond geometry and loading conditions. Prevention of this by the substrate may critically increase the energy available for crack propagation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-256
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Fracture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


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