Uncertainty quantification of the fracture properties of polymeric nanocomposites based on phase field modeling

Khader M. Hamdia, Mohammed A. Msekh, Mohammad Silani, Nam Vu-Bac, Xiaoying Zhuang, Trung Nguyen-Thoi, Timon Rabczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


A sensitivity analysis (SA) has been conducted to examine the influence of uncertain input parameters on the fracture toughness of polymeric clay nanocomposites (PNCs). In order to predict the macroscopic properties of the composite, a phase-field approach has been employed considering six input parameters. For computationally efficiency, the SA is performed based on a surrogate model. Screening methods of the Standardized Regression Coefficients and the Regionalized Sensitivity Analysis are applied first. Then, quantitative methods, i.e. Sobol', EFAST, and PAWN are employed. Moreover, we have presented an improvement to the PAWN method that reduces the computational cost. The efficiency, robustness, and repeatability are compared and evaluated comprehensively of the five SA methods. The convergence of the sensitivity indices is achieved through the bootstrapping technique. The matrix Young's modulus is the most important input parameter affecting the macroscopic fracture toughness, whereas the volume fraction of the clay and the fracture energy of the matrix have a moderate importance. On the other hand, the aspect ratio, the radius of curvature, and the Young's modulus of the clay have negligible effects. Finally, fixing the uncertainties in the important input parameters reduces the coefficient of variation (COV) from 16.82% to 1.97%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1190
Number of pages14
JournalComposite Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


  • Fracture toughness
  • Phase-field modeling
  • Polymeric nanocomposites
  • Sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Uncertainty quantification of the fracture properties of polymeric nanocomposites based on phase field modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this