Computational models based on the finite element method and linear or nonlinear fracture mechanics are herein proposed to study the mechanical response of functionally designed cellular components. It is demonstrated that, via a suitable tailoring of the properties of interfaces present in the meso- and micro-structures, the tensile strength can be substantially increased as compared to that of a standard polycrystalline material. Moreover, numerical examples regarding the structural response of these components when subjected to loading conditions typical of cutting operations are provided. As a general trend, the occurrence of tortuous crack paths is highly favorable: stable crack propagation can be achieved in case of critical crack growth, whereas an increased fatigue life can be obtained for a sub-critical crack propagation.
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