This paper presents the development and numerical implementation of a rate dependent fracture model of an epoxy adhesive. Previous mode I fracture tests conducted under quasistatic, displacement controlled loading of an aluminum double cantilever beam (DCB) bonded with the epoxy exhibited unstable crack growth in the adhesive. Results from mode I fracture tests of compact tension specimens made from bulk adhesive at increasing cross head opening speeds are reported in this paper. The compact tension tests results showed a decreasing critical strain energy release rate with increasing cross head speed, with the critical energy release rate at 1 m/s cross head speed equal to about 20% of its quasi-static value. Two rate dependent cohesive zone models are formulated based on the compact tension test data. A cohesive de-cohesive relationship was postulated between the tractions acting across the crack faces and the opening displacement and opening velocity. These rate dependent cohesive zone models are implemented in a interface finite element to model discrete crack growth in the adhesive. The reaction force history from simulation of the DCB test is in good agreement with the test data using only the rate dependent interface element to model the adhesive.

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