The conceptual simplicity and the ability of cohesive finite element models to describe complex fracture phenomena makes them often the approach of choice to study dynamic fracture. These models have proven to reproduce some experimental features, but to this point, no systematic study has validated their predictive ability; the difficulty in producing a sufficiently complete experimental record, and the intensive computational requirements needed to obtain converged simulations are possible causes. Here, we present a systematic integrated numerical–experimental approach to the verification and validation (V&V) of simulations of dynamic fracture along weak planes. We describe the intertwined computational and the experimental sides of the work, present the V&V results, and extract general conclusions about this kind of integrative approach.
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