You are on page 1of 20

The image cannot be displayed.

Your computer may not have enough memory to open the image, or the image may have been corrupted. Restart your computer, and then open the file again. If the red x still appears, you may have to delete the image and then insert it again.

MCEN90029
Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16
Fracture

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 1

Summary
Over the next 7 lectures, we will investigate concepts of
linear elastic fracture mechanics
Fracture mechanics involves the study of stress and strain,
theories of elasticity and plasticity, and relates to the
microscopic crystallographic defects found in real
materials. Fracture mechanics primarily seeks to predict
microscopic mechanical failure

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 2

Fracture Mechanics
(an introduction)
Fracture mechanics is the study of structural failure by
crack formation
Analytical methods to calculate crack driving force
Experimental methods to characterise material crack
resistance
Study of fracture mechanics leads to improved component
design

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 3

History
Fracture is a problem that has been around since
the first man-made structures
In 1978, the US economic cost of fracture was
$119 billion

Why do structures fail?


TYPE I: Negligence during design, construction
and operation
TYPE II: Application of a new material, and an
unexpected (unpredictable) result
MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 4

Type I failure
The MSV Kurdistan oil tanker, which sustained brittle fracture when
sailing in the North Atlantic (1979).
Combination of warm oil in taker and cold water on outer hull
produced thermal stresses.
Fracture and crack propagation initiated from poorly welded keel

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 5

Type II failure
Pinch clamping of polyethylene gas pipes have been known to
weaken the pipes, cause rupture, and gas leaking
A small flaw on inner surface propagated through wall
Stresses in pressurised pipe were sufficient to cause time-dependent
crack growth (over 6 years)

Pinch clamp
MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Fracture surface of failed pipe


Lecture L16 - 6

Type I and II failure


The Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, caused by failure of an O-ring
seal in one of the main boosters, did not respond to the extreme
temperature drops
Relatively new technology, where service experience was limited
(Type II)
Engineers suspected issue, delaying launch (Type I)

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 7

A historical perspective
Designing to avoid fracture is not new.
Pyramids
The Romans bridge design

Schematic Roman bridge design. The arch shape


causes loads to be transmitted as compressive stresses
MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 8

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 9

Early fracture research


Leonardo da Vincis experiments (1500 AD): The strength of iron
wires varied inversely with wire length (number of flaws proportional to
wire length?)
Alan Arnold Griffith (1920s) performed stress and fatigue analysis on
an elliptic hole
Flaws were unstable when strain energy change overcame material
surface energy - theories valid for brittle materials (glass)

Westergaard (1938) developed the stress intensity factor


Irwin (1956) modified Griffiths approach to include plastic flow
Wells (1956) showed that failure occurs when crack sizes reach
critical values
Rice (1968) developed the J-integral for energy release rate
Fracture mechanics is now an established engineering discipline!

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 10

The fracture mechanics approach to design


In traditional approaches (a), a material was assumed to be adequate
if its strength was greater than the expected applied stress
The fracture mechanics approach (b) has 3 variables (flaw size and
fracture toughness replace strength). Fracture mechanics quantifies all
combinations of these variables

(a)
But, there are two additional
approaches
1. The energy criterion
2. The stress-intensity approach

(b)
MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 11

The energy criterion


Fracture (crack extension) occurs when the energy available for
crack growth is sufficient to overcome the resistance of the material
Energy release rate G is defined as the rate of change in potential
energy with crack area
At fracture, G = Gc, the critical energy release rate (similar to fracture
toughness)
For a crack of length 2a in an infinite plate
subject to a remote tensile stress:

2 a
G=
E

(1)

E: Youngs modulus
: Remotely applied stress
a: Half crack length

At fracture:

2f ac
Gc =
E

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 12

The stress-intensity approach


Below, an element near the tip of a crack is shown in an elastic material
KI = stress intensity factor, assumes crack tip conditions are linear elastic

K I = a

(2)

KIc = critical stress intensity at which failure occurs. Fracture when KI = KIc

Using (1) and (2):


MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

K I2
G=
E

Lecture L16 - 13

Time-dependent crack growth


and damage control
Fracture mechanics important in life prediction
Rate of cracking related to stress intensity factor and critical crack size
In metals:

da
m
= C ( K )
dN

Structural flaw growing with time


MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

da/dN = crack growth per cycle


K = stress-intensity range
C,m = material constants

Initial crack size inferred from


examination
Critical crack size from applied
stress and fracture toughness
Allowable size (divide critical size
by factor of safety)
Lecture L16 - 14

Effect of material properties on fracture


For low toughness, brittle fracture governs failure mechanism
For high toughness, LEFM not valid (failure governed by plastic flow)
For intermediate toughness, transition between LEFM and ductile
overload
Branches of fracture mechanics
(LEFM)

Linear timeindependent
materials
Non-linear timeindependent
materials

Timedependent
materials
MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 15

Fracture at the atomic level


Fracture occurs when
sufficient work/energy
breaks atomic bonds
Equilibrium (steady state
spacing) occurs when PE
minimum
Bond energy:

Eb =

P dx

x0

$ x '
P = Pc sin& )
%(

x = atomic spacing
x0 = equilibrium spacing
P = applied force
Pc = cohesive force amplitude
= half sine wave length

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 16

Fracture at the atomic level


For small displacements,
force/displacement is linear
$ x '
P = Pc & )
%(
Thus, bond stiffness (gradient) is

$'
k = Pc & )
% (
Multiply by equilibrium distance,
x0, and divide by cross sectional
area, A
%(
1
1
= Pc ' * x 0
& )
A
A
%(
E = c' * x0
& )
E E
c =

(1)
x 0
k x 0

Assuming x0 =
MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 17

Fracture at the atomic level


Surface energy:
& x )
1
s = Pc sin( + dx
'*
2 0
(area under force/displacement
curve)

Surface energy (per unit area)

1
s =
2

' x *

sin
c )( ,+ dx
0

s = c

(2)

Equating (1) and (2)

1 ' c x 0 *
s = c = c )

( E ,+
c =

E s
x0

(3)

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 18

Fracture at the atomic level


What can we discern from this proof?
The theoretical cohesive strength of a material is approximately E/
BUT, experimental fracture strengths are usually 2 or 3 times below these
these values (e.g Leonardo da Vinci). Why?
- flaws in the materials

For fracture, fracture stress at atomic level must exceed cohesive


strength c.
Flaws lower global strength by magnifying local stresses

Thus, stress intensity must be defined!

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 19

Lecture summary
Today we introduced the concept of fracture
We investigated the atomic basis of fracture
In the next lecture we will discuss the stress
concentration effect of flaws

MCEN90029 Advanced Mechanics of Solids

Lecture L16 - 20