The cohesive law for the particle/matrix interfaces in high explosives

H. Tan, C. Liu, Y. Huang* (Corresponding Author), P.H. Geubellec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)


The debonding of particle/matrix interfaces has an important effect on the macroscopic behavior of composite materials. There are extensive analytical and numerical studies on interface debonding in composite materials based on cohesive zone models which assume a phenomenological relation between the normal (and shear) traction(s) and opening (and sliding) displacement(s) across the particle/matrix interface. However, there are little or no experiments to determine the cohesive law for particle/matrix interfaces in composite materials. In this paper, we develop a method to determine the cohesive law for particle/matrix interfaces in the high explosive PBX 9501. We use the digital image correlation technique to obtain the stress and displacement around a macroscopic crack tip in the modified compact tension experiment of PBX 9501. We use the extended Mori–Tanaka method (which accounts for the effect of interface debonding) and the equivalence of cohesive energy on the macroscale and microscale to link the macroscale compact tension experiment to the microscale cohesive law for particle/matrix interfaces. Such an approach enables us to quantitatively determine key parameters in the microscale cohesive law, namely the linear modulus, cohesive strength, and softening modulus of particle/matrix interfaces in the high explosive PBX 9501. The present study shows that Ferrante et al.'s [1982 Universal binding energy relations in metallic adhesion. In: J.M. Georges (Ed.), Microscopic Aspects of Adhesion and Lubrication, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 19–30.] cohesive law, which is established primarily for bimetallic interfaces, is not suitable to the high explosive PBX 9501.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1892-1917
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number8
Early online date6 Jun 2005
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense/Office of Land Warfare & Munitions under the Joint DoD/DOE Munitions Technology Development Program, the ASCI Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets at the University of Illinois supported by US Department of Energy through the University of California under subcontract B523819, and ONR Composites for Marine Structures Program (Grants N00014-01-1-0205, Program Manager Dr. Y. D. S. Rajapakse).


  • Mechanical testing
  • Microstructure
  • Fracture
  • Microcracking
  • Inhomogeneous materials


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