Modeling failure of soft anisotropic materials with application to arteries

K. Y. Volokh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The arterial wall is a composite where the preferred orientation of collagen fibers induces anisotropy. Though the hyperelastic theories of fiber-reinforced composites reached a high level of sophistication and showed a reasonable correspondence with the available experimental data they are short of the failure description. Following the tradition of strength of materials the failure criteria are usually separated from stress analysis. In the present work we incorporate a failure description in the hyperelastic models of soft anisotropic materials by introducing energy limiters in the strain energy functions. The limiters provide the saturation value for the strain energy which indicates the maximum energy that can be stored and dissipated by an infinitesimal material volume. By using some popular constitutive models enhanced with the energy limiters we analyze rupture of a sheet of arterial material under the plane stress state varying from the uniaxial to equal biaxial tension. We calculate the local failure criteria including the maximum principal stress, the maximum principal stretch, the von Mises stress, and the strain energy at the moment of the sheet rupture. We find that the local failure criterion in the form of the critical strain energy is the most robust among the considered ones. We also find that the tensile strength-the maximum principal stress-that is usually obtained in uniaxial tension tests might not be appropriate as a failure indicator in the cases of the developed biaxiality of the stress-strain state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1582-1594
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anisotropy
  • Artery
  • Energy limiters
  • Failure
  • Fiber-reinforced composite
  • Soft matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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