Prof. John Botsis

EPFL, Switzerland


John Botsis obtained his diplôme in civil engineering at the University of Patras, Greece in 1979.  He continued his education at Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland Ohio/USA, where he received his MS and Ph.D. 1984. After two years at the research centre for national defence in Athens he was nominated assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, associate in 1991 and full professor in 1995. In 1996, he was nominated professor of solids and structural mechanics at the EPFL. His activities cover experimental mechanics, fracture and fatigue of advanced materials including composites and biomaterials using novel experimental techniques, numerical methods and micromechanics. He has co-authored more than 150 journal papers, several book chapter and two textbooks. His research has been funded from the Swiss National Science Foundation, State Secretariat for Education and Research, Swiss commission for technology and innovation, EU and Swiss industry.



Experiments and analysis of delamination of carbon epoxy composites



It is well known that large scale bridging in fracture of layered composites is one of the most important toughening mechanisms. The resulting resistance to fracture, however, is dependent upon loading, specimen geometry, layout and microstructure rendering its modeling very challenging. In this presentation, experimental results and modeling of fracture in CFRP are presented. The experimental part consists of monotonic tests of inter-, intralaminar fracture of unidirectional specimens as well as load-controlled fatigue of interlaminar specimens. The modeling part involves an iterative scheme to calculate traction-separation relations, due to large scale bridging (LSB), using strains from embedded sensors, parametric finite element simulations and optimization.

The results demonstrate an important effect of specimen thickness in the fracture response under monotonic and fatigue loads and allow to deduce scaling relationships due to LSB. The obtained traction-separation relations are employed in cohesive zone simulations to predict very well the corresponding load-displacement and fracture resistance curves (R-curves) for various thicknesses. Micromechanical observations and analysis show that when separation-dictated cohesive response is present (i.e., adhesive joints), no effects of specimen's stiffness is expected. When fiber bundles, are involved in the formation of closing tractions, i.e. LSB in CFR, an important variation should be expected, both in R-curve behavior and traction-separation relations. The later effect is attributed to the fibers bundles, in the bridging zone, loaded in traction and bending which varies with loading type and specimen's stiffness.

To elucidate further these observations, computational micromechanics models are developed to predict the specimen thickness effects on bridging. Data reduction and analysis shows that if the traction-separation relation is enriched with the local crack opening angle, the observed experimental response can be easily reproduced thus, suggesting cohesive relations with two-kinematic parameters as a physically sound model. The results of these works point to traction-separation-angle relation as a structural property.



[1] L. P. Canal, M. Alfano & J. Botsis, 'A multi-scale based cohesive zone model for the analysis of thickness scaling effects in fiber bridging', Composites Science and Technology, 139, 2017, pp. 90-98.

[2] Pappas & J Botsis, 'Variations on R-curves and traction-separation relations in DCB specimens loaded under end opening forces or pure moments', International Journal of Solids and Structures,

[3] G. Pappas, J. Botsis, 'Towards a geometry independent traction-separation and angle relation due to large scale bridging in DCB configuration', submitted.

All sessions by Prof. John Botsis

2A: Experiments and analysis of delamination of carbon epoxy composites
03:50 PM

Session theme: Modeling and tailoring the composite integrity

Prof. John Botsis

EPFL, Switzerland