The student will be introduced to fracture modes and how the stress
intensity factor can be used in modelling fatigue crack growth and brittle
fracture.
Module 2.5: Introduction to fracture mechanics
1
Scope:
Stress intensity factor , Brittle fracture, Ductile fracture, Fatigue crack growth ,
Paris equation, Plastic zone, Critical stress intensity factor
Expected result:
Explain mechanism and common features of ductile fracture of structures.
Explain mechanism and common features of brittle fracture of materials and
structures.
Explain fatigue crack growth based on linear elastic fracture mechanics.
Illustrate relationship between fracture type and surface appearance.
Review an industrial failure case involving fracture.
Explain the stress intensity factor, stress intensity factor range and critical stress
intensity factor.
Compute stress intensity factors for a simple geometry using geometry factors.
Review experimental method related to fracture.
IWSD M2.5
Introduction to fracture mechanics
2
From notch to sharp cracks:
How do we describe the stress state?
What effect the number of cycles to failure?
0
R
K
t
Mild notch
0
R
d
Blunt notch
K
t
= 1+ 2d/R
0
a
Sharp notch
N is dependent on K
t
N is dependent on K
f
K
f
= 1 + q(K
t
 1)
N is dependent on K
I
(SIF )
K
I
0
a
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Stress concentrations
3
2b
2a
b
a
2 1
a
max
+ =
o
o
a
b
2
=
S
a
(
+ =
o o
a
2 1
a max
S
a
S
a
max
o
k
t
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4
Introduction to fracture mechanics
Stress concentration Stress intensity factor
The theoretical stress concentration
approaches infinity!
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
5
Real materials compared to ideal (model)
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
6
a S K t =
K is the stress
intensity factor.
It characterizes the
severity of a crack in
terms of stress, S, and
crack size, a.
f
y
= 520 MPa
N
o
m
i
n
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
,
M
P
a
600
400
200
0
0 20 40 60
a, crack length, mm
Test data
m MPa a S K
c
66 = t =
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
7
a S K t =
b
a
K
t
2 1+ =
Note:
Not a stress
concentration
f
y
= 520 MPa
N
o
m
i
n
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
,
M
P
a
600
400
200
0
0 20 40 60
a, crack length, mm
Test data
m MPa a S K
c
66 = t =
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
8
f
y
= 520 MPa
N
o
m
i
n
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
,
M
P
a
600
400
200
0
0 20 40 60
a, crack length, mm
Test data
m MPa a S K
c
66 = t =
a S K t =
K
c
is a material
parameter called
the critical stress
intensity factor or
fracture toughness
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Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
9
a S K
y C
t =
K
c
is a material parameter called
the critical stress intensity factor
or fracture toughness
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Introduction to fracture mechanics
10
Basic modes of crack growth and fractured surfaces formation
Three crack tip displacement modes
(Mode I) (Mode II) (Mode III)
Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM)
Method used to predict the behaviour of cracks in solids subjected to fatigue
loading
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Stress intensity factor, SIF
11
General stress state
Plane stress state
+

.

\


.

\

+
=
2
3
2
1
2
2
3
2 2
2
3
2
2
2
2
u u u
u u u
u u u
t
o
o
o
si n si n cos
si n cos si n
cos cos si n
r
K
II
xy
yy
xx
+
2
3
2
2
3
2
1
2
3
2
1
2 2
u u
u u
u u
u
t
o
o
o
cos si n
si n si n
si n si n
cos
r
K
I
xy
yy
xx
+
=
)
`
2
2
2
u
u
t
o
o
cos
si n
r
K
III
yz
xz
The stresses near the crack tip are
defined with the help of K (K
I
, K
II
, K
III
)
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Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
12
P
A
uncracked
cracked
A
1
P
1
P
2
Force displacement diagram
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Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
13
P
A
energy of
uncracked plate
P
A
energy of
cracked plate
P
A
change in energy as
crack develops
U U + dU dU
P
1
P
2
A
1
A
1
P
1
P
2
A
1
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Stress Intensity Factor, SIF
14
da
dU
B
G
1
=
P
A
change in energy as
crack develops
dU
P
1
P
2
A
1
The rate of change in potential energy with
change in crack area is
da
W
B
s
s
1
=
Work per unit area required to form new
crack surface
Note that dU < 0
is the surface energy of a crack
s
W
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor
15
If the potential energy released
as the crack grows is greater
than the energy needed to create
new crack surface,
then crack growth will become
unstable
s
G >
Critical stress intensity factor
G is related to the rate of
energy release for a growing
crack.
K is related to stresses and
displacements, which can also
be solved for energy. Thus there
should be a relation
( )
( )
( )
2 2 2
2
1 1
III II I
K
E
K K
E
G
v v +
+ +
=
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor
16
The stress intensity factor always has the form
=
stress
geometry function
crack length
In fatigue we consider the range of the stress
intensity factor
=
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor Geometry functions
17
=
F
IWSD M2.5
Stress Intensity Factor Geometry function
18
IWSD M2.5
Plastic zone
19
Plane stress Plane strain
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20
Phases of fatigue life and relevant factors
cyclic
slip
crack
nucleation
micro crack
growth
macro crack
growth
final
failure
initiation period crack growth period
K
t
stress concentration
factor
K
stress intensity
factor
K
IC
, K
C
fracture
toughness
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21
Crack growth of macro cracks
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22
Region 1: Threshold
Depends on the Rration
For welds K
th
= 2 MPam
Region 2: Linear stable crack
growth
a = crack length
N = number of cycles
da/dN = crack growth/cycle
K = SIF range
C and n are material dependent constants
Paris law
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23
Region 3: Instability final failure
Fracture toughness K
c
depends on:
Material quality (increases with increase quality)
Thickness (decrease with increased thickness)
Temperature (decrease with lower temperature)
Threshold region Paris region
Instability
region
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24
Region 3: Instability final failure
Fracture toughness K
c
Plane stress Transition area Plane strain
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25
Fracture toughness K
ic
testing
CTspecimen
3 point bending
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26
Fracture toughness K
ic
testing
The test is carried out in two stages:
First stage is fatigue to develop a fatigue crack. The crack length is
determined after the fatigue test (0.45W < a < 0.55W)
A slowly increased load P is applied. The Crack tip Opening
Displacement (COD) is measured and plotted vs. P.
Tensile test, CT (Compact Tension)
Bending test
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27
Fracture toughness K
ic
testing
Stress intensity factor  CT
IWSD M2.5
28
Fracture toughness K
ic
testing
Stress intensity factor 3 pt bending
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29
Example
Calculate the fatigue life of the welded joint. The fatigue failure is
assumed to occur trough the throat thickness (a).
Final failure is assumed when the ligament is 1.8 mm. The stress is varied
between 25 to 75 MPa.
IWSD M2.5
30
Example
Material parameters for crack growth are C = 1.8 10
13
and n = 3 in
mm and N.
Approximate the case with center crack in plate with axial loading
The elementary case for this SIF
IWSD M2.5
31
Example
The initial crack length is a
0
= 0 mm and the final value is a
0
= 41.8
mm = 2.2 mm
We get for different crack length
The stress intensity factor range:
Finally the life
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32
Example
Incremental integration
Final fatigue life: 1.38 million cycles
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33
Example
Same example but with FE Analysis
Detailed mesh around the crack tip
Crack tip elements
Crack tip displacements
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34
Example
Stress intensity factors
Fatigue life
Final fatigue life: 1.36 million
cycles (same as analytical)
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35
Case study #1
Residual stress effect on fatigue of welded steel structures
using LEFM
Barsoum Z. and Barsoum I., Engineering Failure Analysis, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp.
449467, January 2009.
IWSD M2.5
36
Case study #1
Development of a FE subroutine for welding simulation
Predict the residual stresses due to the welding process
Development of a LEFM subroutine for automatic simulation of fatigue
crack growth (FCG)
LEFM Model Fillet weld root cracking
Stress intensity
factors: K
I
, K
II
Res. stresses: K
residual
Crack size: a
0
and a
f
Deflection angle:
i
Crack increment: a
i
Material parameters:
C & m
Paris law/Forman
Numerical integration
Paris law
maximum circumferential stress criterion (
max
).
N
f
IWSD M2.5
37
1,5
1
0,5
0
0,5
0 1 2 3
r / R ()
o
r
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
/
o
y
i
e
l
d
s
t
r
e
s
s
(

)
Radial residual stres  Pavier et al
Tangential residual stress  Pavier et al
Radial residual stress  FE simulation
Tangential residual stress  FE simulation
Radial residual stress mapping
Tangential residual stress  mapping
Radial residual stress  after 10 cycles
Tangenital residual stress  after 10 cycles
r (mm)
1,5
1
0,5
0
0,5
0 1 2 3
r / R ()
o
r
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
/
o
y
i
e
l
d
s
t
r
e
s
s
(

)
No crack
a=0.3 mm
a=3 mm
a= 8 mm
Radial Residual Stress 
y
0.3 mm
3 mm
8 mm
1,5
1
0,5
0
0,5
0 1 2 3
r / R ()
o
r
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
/
o
y
i
e
l
d
s
t
r
e
s
s
(

)
No crack
a=0.3 mm
a=3 mm
a=8 mm
Tangential Residual Stress 
x
0.3 mm
3 mm
8 mm
Cold expanded hole in aluminium plate
Residual stresses no cracks
Case study #1
Residual stress relaxation due to crack growth
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38
Case study #1  MAN B&W Diesel
Weld B
Weld A
Welded engine frame box
Objective:
Influence of stress reliefing
Fatigue cracking weld root
IWSD M2.5
39
Case study #1  MAN B&W Diesel
Welded engine frame box
WELDED ENGINE FRAME BOX
10
100
1,E+04 1,E+05 1,E+06 1,E+07
N
f
(Cycles)
R
i
g
f
o
r
c
e
(
k
N
)
PWHT experiment
PWHT prediction
As Welded experiment
As Welded Prediction
run outs
Fatigue life  Experiment vs. Prediction
Welding simulation
400
300
200
100
0
100
200
300
400
0 5 10 15 20 25
Crack path (mm)
N
o
r
m
a
l
r
e
s
i
d
u
a
l
s
t
r
e
s
s
(
M
P
a
)
WELD A
WELD B
Crack path
design root error 5 mm
design root error 8 mm
Residual stresses weld root
IWSD M2.5
40
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds
Structural steel Domex 355
Plate thickness = 12 mm
Rratio = 1
K
th
= 6 MPam
K
IC
= 120 MPa m
Crack growth: C = 5e12, m=3
30 MPa
12
a6i1
a6i1
S6, w=4
W = 500 mm
250
250
200 200
UY = 0
UX = 0
Task: Predict the fatigue life
of the welded structure (butt
and fillet welds) using LEFM
IWSD M2.5
41
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds
Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM)
Fracture mechanics assumes the existence of an initial crack ai.
It can be used to predict the growth of the crack to a final size af.
For cracks starting from weld toe, an initial crack depth of a = 0.15 mm and
an aspect ratio of a:c = 1:10 should be assumed.
For root cracks e.g. at fillet welds, the root gap should be taken as an initial
crack
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42
Fatigue Crack Growth
Region I,
threshold of
slow crack
growth rate
region
Region II
stable Paris
law region
Region III,
fast / unstable
crack growth
region
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds, LEFM
IWSD M2.5
43
Fatigue Crack Growth
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds, LEFM
In region I, R has a
big effect
In region II, R
has a
moderate
effect
In region III, R
has a big
effect
IWSD M2.5
44
Mean stress effects / Crack closure
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds, LEFM
time
K
K
cl
K
op
K
eff
K
min
K
K
max
Closure ratio
Aswelded condition: Crack is fully open during the whole range of cyclic loading
due to assumption of tensile residual stresses at the crack tip!
IWSD M2.5
45
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds, LEFM
Initial root crack 6 mm
Initial root crack 10 mm
Toe crack, 0.15 mm
Toe crack, 0.15 mm
FE model with cracks; ANSYS / FRANC2D
IWSD M2.5
46
30
10
10
30
50
70
90
110
130
150
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
crack (mm)
K
I
(
M
P
a
?
m
)
fillet toe (ai=0.15mm)
butt toe (ai=0.15mm)
fillet root (ai=10mm)
butt root (ai=6mm)
?Kth
KIC
SIF / Crack propagation
No crack growth
K
I
< K
th
Crack growth from
butt weld root N
f
= 20 000
cycles
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000
Accumulated cycles
c
r
a
c
k
l
e
n
g
t
h
(
m
m
)
No mean stress effects
Crack closure / Mean stress effects
N
f
= 47 000
cycles
Butt weld root failure
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds, LEFM
IWSD M2.5
47
Example: Tjoint structure with several welds, LEFM
Comparsion between fatigue design methods for welded joints
Weld root failure butt weld
Nominal mtd 119 000 cycles
Hot spot mtd not possible
Eff notch mtd 58 000 cycles
LEFM no mean stress effects 20 000 cycles
LEFM mean stress effects 47 000 cycles
IWSD M2.5
48
Case study #2
Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture
mechanics and crack growth analysis Volvo Construction Equipment
Geometry
Section through the
sub model
Inside frame
Single sided fillet weld
without weld prep.
Outside frame
Double sided fillet
weld
without weld prep.
Weld root LOF
IWSD M2.5
49
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
Results for symmetric load conditions
Global model without notch
IWSD M2.5
50
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
IWSD M2.5
51
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
Sub model 2 Section through weld
with crack
Crack
Crack tip
Sub model 2 swept to 3D
Sub model 2 merged
into sub model 1
IWSD M2.5
52
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
Result from cross section
Stress intensity along the whole sub model, at the weld root
IWSD M2.5
53
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
3 different sub models are analysed for crack growth analysis
Crack length (mm) SIF (MPam) Slpoe
8 12 (1612)/(128) = 1
12 16 (4016)/(1612) = 6
16 40 
Assume bilinear functions
IWSD M2.5
54
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
LEFM crack growth calculations
Paris law Crack growth rate =
Where C = 5 10
12
[MPa,m ] and m = 3
K
a
a
o
a
f
So if, K = A + aB, we can integrate analytically
= =
0
=
1
1
+
0
=
1
+
+1
1
+1
a
f
a
0
=
a = 8 12 mm: B = 1 N 304 000 cycles
a = 12 16 mm: B = 6 N 55 000 cycles
359 000 cycles
This agrees well with the notch stress analysis = 420 000 cycles
IWSD M2.5
55
Case study #2  Analysis of Rear frame of a loader using fracture mechanics and
crack growth analysis
Comparison of calculated fatigue lifes
Conservative fatigue life estimation could be to safe
Notch stress method agrees well with LEFM crack growth analysis
IWSD M2.5
56
Case study #3
Failure investigation of Dipper arm in Volvo CE excevator
Field crack section view
Field fatigue failure
IWSD M2.5
57
Case study #3  Failure investigation of Dipper arm in Volvo CE excevator
LEFM crack growth analysis Case A
IWSD M2.5
58
Case study #3  Failure investigation of Dipper arm in Volvo CE excevator
Definition of crack direction in sub model 1
Principal max stress direction check
IWSD M2.5
59
Case study #3  Failure investigation of Dipper arm in Volvo CE excevator
Sub model analysis result
IWSD M2.5
60
Case study #3  Failure investigation of Dipper arm in Volvo CE excevator
FE models Case B
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61
Case study #3  Failure investigation of Dipper arm in Volvo CE excevator
Bench test loading Design in Case A & B
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62
Problem 2.5.1
Change to a High Strength Steel
Assume that a component in the shape of a large sheet is to be fabricated CMn Steel. It is
required that the critical flaw size be greater than 2 mm, the resolution limit of available flaw
detection procedures. A design stress of one half the tensile strength is indicated. To save
weight, and increase in the tensile strength is suggested, from 1520 to 2070 MPa. Is such a
strength increment allowable ? (assume planestrain conditions in all computations)