A cohesive zone model, taking full account of finite geometry changes, is used to provide a unified framework for describing the process of void nucleation from initial debonding through complete decohesion. A boundary value problem simulating a periodic array of rigid spherical inclusions in an isotropically hardening elastic-viscoplastic matrix is analyzed. Dimensional considerations introduce a characteristic length into the formulation and, depending on the ratio of this characteristic length to the inclusion radius, decohesion occurs either in a “ductile” or “brittle” manner. The effect of the triaxiality of the imposed stress state on nucleation is studied and the numerical results are related to the description of void nucleation within a phenomenological constitutive framework for progressively cavitating solids.

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