Reactive classical molecular dynamics simulations of sodium silicate glasses, xNa2O–(100 − x)SiO2 (x = 10–30), under quasi-static loading, were performed for the analysis of molecular scale fracture mechanisms. Mechanical properties of the sodium silicate glasses were consistent with experimentally reported values, and the amount of crack propagation varied with reported fracture toughness values. The most crack propagation occurred in NS20 systems (20-mol% Na2O) compared with the other simulated compositions. Dissipation via two mechanisms, the first through sodium migration as a lower activation energy process and the second through structural rearrangement as a higher activation energy process, was calculated and accounted for the energy that was not stored elastically or associated with the formation of new fracture surfaces. A correlation between crack propagation and energy dissipation was identified, with systems with higher crack propagation exhibiting less energy dissipation. Sodium silicate glass compositions with lower energy dissipation also exhibited the most sodium movement and structural rearrangement within 10 Å of the crack tip during loading. Therefore, high sodium mobility near the crack tip may enable energy dissipation without requiring formation of structural defects. Therefore, the varying mobilities of the network modifiers near crack tips influence the brittleness and the crack growth rate of modified amorphous oxide systems.
Brittle material failure in high consequence systems can appear random and unpredictable at subcritical stresses. Gaps in our understanding of how structural flaws and environmental factors (humidity, temperature) impact fracture propagation need to be addressed to circumvent this issue. A combined experimental and computational approach composed of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, numerical modeling, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been undertaken to identify mechanisms of slow crack growth in silicate glasses. AFM characterization of crack growth as slow as 10-13 m/s was observed, with some stepwise crack growth. MD simulations have identified the critical role of inelastic relaxation in crack propagation, including evolution of the structure during relaxation. A numerical model for the existence of a stress intensity threshold, a stress intensity below which a fracture will not propagate, was developed. This transferrable model for predicting slow crack growth is being incorporated into mission-based programs.
This report details a new method for propagating parameter uncertainty (forward uncertainty quantification) in partial differential equations (PDE) based computational mechanics applications. The method provides full-field quantities of interest by solving for the joint probability density function (PDF) equations which are implied by the PDEs with uncertain parameters. Full-field uncertainty quantification enables the design of complex systems where quantities of interest, such as failure points, are not known apriori. The method, motivated by the well-known probability density function (PDF) propagation method of turbulence modeling, uses an ensemble of solutions to provide the joint PDF of desired quantities at every point in the domain. A small subset of the ensemble is computed exactly, and the remainder of the samples are computed with approximation of the driving (dynamics) term of the PDEs based on those exact solutions. Although the proposed method has commonalities with traditional interpolatory stochastic collocation methods applied directly to quantities of interest, it is distinct and exploits the parameter dependence and smoothness of the dynamics term of the governing PDEs. The efficacy of the method is demonstrated by applying it to two target problems: solid mechanics explicit dynamics with uncertain material model parameters, and reacting hypersonic fluid mechanics with uncertain chemical kinetic rate parameters. A minimally invasive implementation of the method for representative codes SPARC (reacting hypersonics) and NimbleSM (finite- element solid mechanics) and associated software details are described. For solid mechanics demonstration problems the method shows order of magnitudes improvement in accuracy over traditional stochastic collocation. For the reacting hypersonics problem, the method is implemented as a streamline integration and results show very good accuracy for the approximate sample solutions of re-entry flow past the Apollo capsule geometry at Mach 30.
Civil infrastructure is made primarily of concrete structures or components and therefore understanding durability and fracture behavior of concrete is of utmost importance. Concrete contains an interfacial transition zone (ITZ), a porous region surrounding the aggregates, that is often considered to be the weakest region in the concrete. The ITZ is poorly characterized and property estimates for the ITZ differ considerably. In this simulation study, representative concrete mesostructures are produced by packing coarse aggregates with realistic geometries into a mortar matrix. A meshless numerical method, peridynamics, is utilized to simulate the mechanical response including fracture under uniaxial compression and tension. The sensitivity of the stiffness and fracture toughness of the samples to the ITZ properties is computed, showing strong relationships between the ITZ properties and the effective modulus and effective yield strength of the concrete. These results provides insight into the influence of the poorly characterized ITZ on the stiffness and strength of concrete. This work showcases the applicability of peridynamics to concrete systems, matching experimental strength and modulus values. Additionally, relationships between the ITZ's mechanical properties and the overall concrete strength and stiffness are presented to enable future design decisions.
We present a minimally invasive method for forward propagation of material property uncertainty to full-field quantities of interest in solid dynamics. Full-field uncertainty quantification enables the design of complex systems where quantities of interest, such as failure points, are not known a priori. The method, motivated by the well-known probability density function (PDF) propagation method of turbulence modeling, uses an ensemble of solutions to provide the joint PDF of desired quantities at every point in the domain. A small subset of the ensemble is computed exactly, and the remainder of the samples are computed with approximation of the evolution equations based on those exact solutions. Although the proposed method has commonalities with traditional interpolatory stochastic collocation methods applied directly to quantities of interest, it is distinct and exploits the parameter dependence and smoothness of the driving term of the evolution equations. The implementation is model independent, storage and communication efficient, and straightforward. We demonstrate its efficiency, accuracy, scaling with dimension of the parameter space, and convergence in distribution with two problems: a quasi-one-dimensional bar impact, and a two material notched plate impact. For the bar impact problem, we provide an analytical solution to PDF of the solution fields for method validation. With the notched plate problem, we also demonstrate good parallel efficiency and scaling of the method.
Brittle materials, such as cement, compose major portions of built infrastructure and are vulnerable to degradation and fracture from chemo-mechanical effects. Currently, methods of modeling infrastructure do not account for the presence of a reactive environment, such as water, on the acceleration of failure. Here, we have developed methodologies and models of concrete and cement fracture that account for varying material properties, such as strength, shrinkage, and fracture toughness due to degradation or hydration. The models have been incorporated into peridynamics, non-local continuum mechanics methodology, that can model intersecting and branching brittle fracture that occurs in multicomponent brittle materials, such as concrete. Through development of new peridynamic capabilities, decalcification of cement and differential shrinkage in clay-cement composites have been evaluated, along with exemplar problems in nuclear waste cannisters and wellbores. We have developed methods to simulate multiphase phenomena in cement and cement-composite materials for energy and infrastructure applications.
Ionogels are hybrid materials formed by impregnating the pore space of a solid matrix with a conducting ionic liquid. By combining the properties of both component materials, ionogels can act as self-supporting electrolytes in Li batteries. In this study, molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the dependence of mechanical properties of silica ionogels on solid fraction, temperature, and pore width. Comparisons are made with corresponding aerogels. We find that the solid matrix fraction increases the moduli and strength of the ionogel. This varies nonlinearly with temperature and strain rate, according to the contribution of the viscous ionic liquid to resisting deformation. Owing to the temperature and strain sensitivity of the ionic liquid viscosity, the mechanical properties approach a linear mixing law at high temperature and low strain rates. The median pore width of the solid matrix plays a complex role, with its influence varying qualitatively with deformation mode. Narrower pores increase the relevant elastic modulus under shear and uniaxial compression but reduce the modulus obtained under uniaxial tension. Conversely, shear and tensile strength are increased by narrowing the pore width. All of these pore size effects become more pronounced as the silica fraction increases. Pore size effects, similar to the effects of temperature and strain rate, are linked to the ease of fluid redistribution within the pore space during deformation-induced changes in the geometry of the pores.
Modeling the degradation of cement-based infrastructure due to aqueous environmental conditions continues to be a challenge. In order to develop a capability to predict concrete infrastructure failure due to chemical degradation, we created a chemomechanical model of the effects of long-term water exposure on cement paste. The model couples the mechanical static equilibrium balance with reactive–diffusive transport and incorporates fracture and failure via peridynamics (a meshless simulation method). The model includes fundamental aspects of degradation of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) paste, including the observed softening, reduced toughness, and shrinkage of the cement paste, and increased reactivity and transport with water induced degradation. This version of the model focuses on the first stage of cement paste decalcification, the dissolution of portlandite. Given unknowns in the cement paste degradation process and the cost of uncertainty quantification (UQ), we adopt a minimally complex model in two dimensions (2D) in order to perform sensitivity analysis and UQ. We calibrate the model to existing experimental data using simulations of common tests such as flexure, compression and diffusion. Then we calculate the global sensitivity and uncertainty of predicted failure times based on variation of eleven unique and fundamental material properties. We observed particularly strong sensitivities to the diffusion coefficient, the reaction rate, and the shrinkage with degradation. Also, the predicted time of first fracture is highly correlated with the time to total failure in compression, which implies fracture can indicate impending degradation induced failure; however, the distributions of the two events overlap so the lead time may be minimal. Extension of the model to include the multiple reactions that describe complete degradation, viscous relaxation, post-peak load mechanisms, and to three dimensions to explore the interactions of complex fracture patterns evoked by more realistic geometry is straightforward and ongoing.
Software development for high-performance scientific computing continues to evolve in response to increased parallelism and the advent of on-node accelerators, in particular GPUs. While these hardware advancements have the potential to significantly reduce turnaround times, they also present implementation and design challenges for engineering codes. We investigate the use of two strategies to mitigate these challenges: the Kokkos library for performance portability across disparate architectures, and the DARMA/vt library for asynchronous many-task scheduling. We investigate the application of Kokkos within the NimbleSM finite element code and the LAMÉ constitutive model library. We explore the performance of DARMA/vt applied to NimbleSM contact mechanics algorithms. Software engineering strategies are discussed, followed by performance analyses of relevant solid mechanics simulations which demonstrate the promise of Kokkos and DARMA/vt for accelerated engineering simulators.
To model and quantify the variability in plasticity and failure of additively manufactured metals due to imperfections in their microstructure, we have developed uncertainty quantification methodology based on pseudo marginal likelihood and embedded variability techniques. We account for both the porosity resolvable in computed tomography scans of the initial material and the sub-threshold distribution of voids through a physically motivated model. Calibration of the model indicates that the sub-threshold population of defects dominates the yield and failure response. The technique also allows us to quantify the distribution of material parameters connected to microstructural variability created by the manufacturing process, and, thereby, make assessments of material quality and process control.