On the mechanical characterization of materials by Arcan-type specimens

Giovanni Pio Pucillo, Marzio Grasso, Francesco Penta, Paolo Pinto

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    11 Citations (Scopus)


    The simple circular notched specimen was originally proposed by Arcan to characterize the elastic properties of fibre-reinforced composites. Unfortunately, its optimized geometry does not allow to measure with reasonable accuracy both the material shear strength and the conditions of failure under a generic biaxial stress state, since the effects of stress concentration on the fillets of the two V-grooves and on the inner circular edges are responsible of premature fractures due to the uniaxial stress states of the notch edges. In a previous numerical study carried out by a parametric two-dimensional finite element model, some of the Authors of this paper found a new optimal geometry of the Arcan specimen able to minimize the notch effect and achieve a uniform pure shear stress field in the gauge cross-section. In the present paper, starting from such a geometry, a new type of Arcan specimen is proposed, having not uniform thickness. An extensive three-dimensional parametric finite element analysis has been done to define its optimal shape. The numerical results show that the new specimen is able to achieve, with a higher probability, material fracture in the minimum cross-section under a pure shear stress distribution which is more uniform than those acting in the Arcan specimen typologies until now proposed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1729-1741
    Number of pages13
    JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • Arcan specimen
    • Biaxial tests
    • Finite element method
    • Shear strength


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