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Workshop 1

Crack in a Three-point Bend Specimen


Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus

Introduction
An edge crack in a three-point bend specimen in plane strain, subjected to Mode I
loading, is considered (see Figure W11). The crack length to specimen width ratio is
0.2. The length of the specimen is 55 mm, and its width is 10 mm. The material is
assumed to be linear elastic, with Young's modulus E = 2E5 MPa and Poisson's ratio
v = 0.3. The loading is in the form of bending moments applied to the ends of the
specimen. Small deformation conditions are assumed.

Figure W11 Schematic of the three-point bend specimen.
Preliminaries
1. Enter the working directory for this workshop:
../fracture/bending
2. Run the script ws_fracture_3pt_bend.py using the following command:
abaqus cae startup=ws_fracture_3pt_bend.py
This script creates an Abaqus database file named three-point-bend.cae in the
current directory. The geometry, material, step, and loading definitions for the specimen
are included in the model named focused. The bending moments are applied to the ends
of the specimen using kinematic coupling constraints. In this workshop, you will perform
a parametric study to evaluate J and K at the crack tip using a series of different mesh
configurations. The results will be compared with the theoretical value.
b=10 mm
a=2 mm
43 mm
55 mm
M =1075
Nmm
M

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Focused mesh
You will begin by considering the case of a focused mesh around the crack tip.
1. In the context bar, select focused from the Model drop-down list.
2. In the Part module, click the Partition Face: Sketch icon and sketch a
vertical line of length 2.0 mm through the center of the plate, as shown in
Figure W12. This line represents the crack. Also, sketch a circle of radius
0.5 mm centered at the crack tip. This operation creates a circular partition
around the crack tip which will facilitate swept meshing.

Figure W12 Circular partition around the crack tip

The detailed steps are outlined below:
- Sketch a vertical line through the center of the plate (using the Create
Lines: Connected tool ) then dimension it (AddDimension or
use in the toolbox).
- Edit the dimension (EditDimension or use in the toolbox) so
the length of the line is 2, as shown in the following figure.

- Sketch a circle using the Create Circle: Center and Perimeter tool
. Select the points indicated below (left) as the center and perimeter
points (the perimeter point should snap to the vertical line as indicated
by the small at the intersection of the circle and line).
- If you happen to snap the perimeter point to the midpoint of the
vertical line, you will find that an Equal distance constraint ( ) is
also created. If this happens, delete the Equal distance constraint to
avoid overconstraining the sketch.

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
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- Afterwards, dimension the radius of the circle, and edit its value so
that it is equal to 0.5, as shown below (right).


3. The crack-tip singularity may only be specified for independent part instances.
The part currently assumes the default dependent state. Thus, in the Model
Tree, expand the Assembly and then expand the list of instances. Click
mouse button 3 (MB3) on the instance named plate-1. In the menu that
appears, select Make Independent.
Quarter-point nodes with a single crack-tip node
To complete the model, you must define the crack and the output, generate the mesh, and
create a job.
Crack definition
1. In the Model Tree, expand the Engineering Features container underneath
the Assembly. In the list that appears, double-click Cracks.
2. In the Create Crack dialog box, select Contour integral and click Continue.
3. Select the vertex highlighted in Figure W13 as the crack front. Choose the q
vectors method to define the crack extension direction.

Figure W13 Crack front/tip
center
perimeter

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
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4. Select the vertices highlighted in Figure W14 as the start and end points of
the vector.

Figure W14 q vector direction

5. In the Singularity tabbed page of the Edit Crack dialog box, set the midside
node parameter to 0.25 and choose Collapsed element side, single node
as the element control. This introduces a square-root singularity at the crack
tip.
6. From the main menu bar, select SpecialCrackAssign Seam to define
the crack seam. Select the two edges indicated in Figure W15 to define the
seam (use Shift+Click to select multiple entities). The elements on either side
of this seam will not share nodes.

Figure W15 Crack seam
Output
1. In the Model Tree, double-click History Output Requests to create a contour
integral history output request. In the Edit History Output Request dialog
box, select Contour integral as the domain type, and choose the crack
defined earlier as the domain. Set the number of contours to 5 and request J-
integral output.
2. Repeat the above step, this time choosing Stress intensity factors as the
output type.
Mesh
1. In the Model Tree, expand the Instances container underneath the Assembly
and double-click Mesh underneath the instance named plate-1.
start
end
q

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2. Assign a global seed size of 1.0 to the part (SeedInstance).
3. Assign local edge seeds to the circular region surrounding the crack tip
(SeedEdge By Number):
a. Specify 16 elements along the circular edge together with the constraint
that the number of elements along this edge may only increase. The latter
constraint is not required but will improve mesh quality in this case. To
enforce the constraint, click Constraints in the prompt area after
specifying the edge seeds.
b. Specify 4 elements along the straight edge within the circular region. No
additional constraints are required.
4. Assign swept mesh controls to the circular region (MeshControls; choose
Quad-dominated as the element shape and Sweep as the technique).
5. Assign the Quad element shape using the Medial axis algorithm to the rest of
the part.
6. Assign quadratic, reduced integration plane strain elements (CPE8R) to all
regions of the plate (MeshElement Type).
7. Generate the mesh (MeshInstance). It should appear similar to the one
shown in Figure W16.



Figure W16 Part mesh: entire part (left); close up of crack tip (right)

8. Query the elements attached to the crack tip to verify that their connectivity is
that of a collapsed quadrilateral element with a repeated node at the crack tip
(ToolsQuery). For example, for the element highlighted in Figure W17,
the connectivity would be similar to that appearing at the bottom of the figure.

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
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Figure W17 Element connectivity at the crack tip

Job
1. In the Model Tree, double-click Jobs to create a job for this model. Name the
job cpe8r-constrain-qtr.
2. Click MB3 on the job name and select Submit from the menu that appears. In
the same menu, you may also select Monitor to monitor the progress of the
job and Results to automatically open the output database file for this job
(cpe8r-constrain-qtr.odb) in the Visualization module.
Results
1. When the job is complete, open cpe8r-constrain-qtr.odb in the
Visualization module. Evaluate the deformed shape and stress state in the part.
The deformed model shape (PlotDeformed Shape) and Mises stress
distribution (PlotContoursOn Deformed Shape) are shown in Figure
W18 and Figure W19 (using a deformation scale factor of approximately
250). The stress state is highly localized in the vicinity of the crack tip. Away
from the crack tip, the stress state exhibits the pattern characteristic of pure
bending (Figure W110 shows the longitudinal stress S11).
Tip: To change the contour plot variable, select ResultField Output from
the main menu bar and choose the appropriate variable for contouring.
Alternatively, use the Field Output toolbar.


Figure W18 Deformed model shape

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
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Figure W19 Mises stress distribution

Figure W110 Longitudinal stress distribution (S11)

2. Next, identify the domains for each contour. In the Results Tree, expand the
Node Sets container underneath the output database named cpe8r-
constrain-qtr.odb; double-click any set beginning with H-OUTPUT. The
five contour domains are shown in Figure W111. Note that each successive
contour domain contains the previous domain within its boundaries.

Figure W111 Contour integral domains
3. For each contour, plot the J-integral and the K
I
values:
a. In the Results Tree, click mouse button 3 on the History Output
container. From the menu that appears, select Filter.
b. In the filter field, enter J-int* to restrict the history output to just the J-
integral data.
c. Select all curves of the form J-integral: J at H-OUTPUT-*, and click
mouse button 3; from the menu that appears, select Plot.
d. Similarly, select and plot all curves of the form Stress intensity factor
K1: K1 at H-OUTPUT-* (filter the container according to Stress*).

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
W1.8

The results appear in Figure W112. As is seen in the figure, the values have
converged and exhibit path independence.
Note: Double-click the Y-axis in the curves to adjust the axis limits.

Figure W112 J-integral and K
I
values
4. Even though the differences in the values of J (and K) for each contour appear
to be small, common practice dictates that the first (and sometimes the
second) contour value be neglected to prevent adverse numerical effects due
to the singularity from influencing the interpretation of the results. Thus,
compute the average value of K
I
for contours 3-5 and enter the value in Table
W11.
Tip: To readily compute the average value, select the three curves indicated
above in the Results Tree, and click mouse button 3. From the menu that
appears, select Save As. In the Save XY Data As dialog box, select Average
as the operation that should be performed prior to saving the data. Then query
the data (ToolsQuery; select Probe Values in the Query dialog box).

Analysis case KI (MPa\mm)
Theoretical 170. 24
Element type Midside node
parameter
Crack tip: Single or
duplicate nodes
Singularity
CPE8R (focused) 0.25 Single node
1/\r

CPE8R (focused) 0.25 Duplicate nodes
A/r + B/\r

CPE8R (focused) 0.5 Single node none
CPE8R (unfocused) 0.25 Single node
1/\r (along edges)

CPE8R (unfocused) 0.5 Single node none

Table W11 K
I
values for parametric study

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
W1.9

Quarter-point nodes with independent crack-tip nodes
Edit the crack definition and select Collapsed element side, duplicate nodes as the
element control to allow each crack-tip element to possess independent crack-tip nodes.
Regenerate the mesh. Create a new job named cpe8r-indep-qtr and run the job.
Evaluate the results and enter the average value of K
I
for contours 3-5 in Table W11.
Mid-point nodes with a single crack-tip node
Edit the crack definition and select Collapsed element side, single node as the element
control and set the midside node parameter to 0.5. Regenerate the mesh. Create a new
job named cpe8r-constrain-half and run the job. Evaluate the results and enter the
average value of K
I
for contours 3-5 in Table W11.
Unfocused mesh
You will now use an unfocused, rectangular mesh to analyze the problem. Begin by
copying the model named focused to one named unfocused. All subsequent
instructions apply to the unfocused model.

Rectangular second-order mesh
Edit the part features to remove the circular face partition created at the beginning of this
exercise.
Tip: In the Model Tree, expand the Parts container. In the list of features underneath the
plate, double-click Partition face-1. In the Edit Feature dialog box, click Edit Section
Sketch. In the toolbox, click the Delete Entities tool and select the circle as the
feature to be deleted.
In the Interaction module, redefine the seam and the crack front (reselect the crack tip,
and set the midside node parameter equal to 0.25 using no degeneracy).
In the Mesh module, delete all edge seeds ( ) and assign a global seed size of 1.0 to
the entire part and element type CPE8R to all regions. Also assign the Quad element
shape using the Medial axis algorithm using the mesh controls ( ). Re-mesh the part.
Create a new job named cpe8r-unfocused-qtr and run the job. Evaluate the results
and enter the average value of K
I
for contours 3-5 in Table W11.
Change the midside node parameter to 0.5 and create a new job named cpe8r-
unfocused-half. Run the job, evaluate the results, and enter the average value of K
I

for contours 3-5 in Table W11.
Save your model database file.

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
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Theoretical result
The theoretical result from Tada, Paris, and Irwin (1985) for a / b < 0.6 gives:
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
2
2 3 4
6
1.122 1.40 7.33 13.08 14.0
I
M
b
a
K aF
b
a a a a a
F
b b b b b
o
o t
=
=
= + +

Discussion
The results of the simulations are summarized in Table W12 below.

Analysis case KI (MPa\mm)
Theoretical 170. 24
Element type Midside node
parameter
Crack tip: Single or
duplicate nodes
Singularity
CPE8R (focused) 0.25 Single node
1/\r 170.63
CPE8R (focused) 0.25 Duplicate nodes
A/r + B/\r 170.63
CPE8R (focused) 0.5 Single node none 170.18
CPE8R (unfocused) 0.25 Single node
1/\r (along edges) 170.46
CPE8R (unfocused) 0.5 Single node none 165.66

Table W12 K
I
values for parametric study (results)

Dassault Systmes, 2009 Modeling Fracture and Failure with Abaqus
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The focused mesh results show excellent agreement with the theoretical results for K and
J. Note that the mesh with quarter-point nodes and a single crack-tip node introduces a
1/\r singularity into the crack-tip elements. Since this problem is governed by LEFM and
the strength of this singularity is consistent with LEFM, a high degree of accuracy is
expected. For most practical problems, however, the exact form of the singularity cannot
always be represented. As noted in the lecture, a stronger form than necessary is
recommended in these cases. As shown in this example, when a stronger form of the
singularity is used (by permitting the crack-tip nodes to behave independently), very
accurate results are indeed obtained.
If the singularity is not explicitly modeled, mesh refinement can be used to obtain
accurate results. In this example accurate values of K and J were obtained in the absence
of a singularity when the mesh was focused (i.e., refined). When the meshes were coarse
(as in the case of the unfocused meshes), the singularity introduced by the quarter-point
nodes significantly improved the estimates of K and J. Thus, the benefit of the singularity
is most apparent for coarse meshes.
For all cases, the overall accuracy of the near-tip stress and strain fields is enhanced by
including a singularity in the mesh. Singular meshes tend to do a better job capturing the
steep gradient in the asymptotic stress and strain fields ahead of the crack tip. In addition,
the singularity is necessary to achieve mesh convergence of the stress and deformation
fields. The near-tip fields of a coarse mesh with a singularity will converge more rapidly
than those of a finer mesh without a singularity.

Note: A script that creates the complete model described in these instructions
is available for your convenience. Run this script if you encounter difficulties
following the instructions outlined here or if you wish to check your work. The
script is named ws_fracture_3pt_bend_answer.py and is available using the
Abaqus fetch utility.