You are on page 1of 21

Fracture Mechanics

Using Workbench

Michael Bak
July 2013

2013 CAE Associates

Fracture Mechanics

Fracture mechanics is an important tool of engineering analysis that

makes it possible to determine whether:
a crack of given length
in a material of known fracture toughness
will propagate to fracture at a given stress level. 2
Theoretical Background

Fracture mechanics is based on the stress distribution at the tip of a crack,

derived from elasticity theory:
KI 3
xx = cos 1 sin sin
2r 2 2 2

KI 3
yy = cos 1 + sin sin
2r 2 2 2

KI 3
xy = cos sin sin
2r 2 2 2

Although the stress approaches infinity at the tip of the crack (as r 0),
the fracture behavior can be determined from the value of K, the stress
intensity factor. 3
Theoretical Background

Three primary modes of fracture:

Mode I: Tensile or opening mode.
Generally most critical.
Mode II: Sliding or shear mode.
Mode III: Tearing mode.

Mixed-mode fracture is also possible. 4
Methods of Calculating K

ANSYS Mechanical and Mechanical APDL offer several different

methodologies to evaluate fracture:
Stress Intensity Factor (K or SIF) extraction.
J-Integral (J).
Energy release rate (G) using Virtual Crack Closure Technique (VCCT).
Typically used for delamination.
Requires linear elements (mid-side nodes not allowed).

For linear elastic materials G, J, and K are related:

Plane stress: J =G =

Plane strain: J =G =
K 2 1 2 )
E 5
Fracture Toughness

Fracture toughness, KIC, is a measured material property.

Found using standard specimens that are loaded until the crack extends.

K is a function of the crack geometry and the applied loading:

If K > KIC: The crack will propagate.

Can also combine fracture with fatigue to determine cycles of repeated

loading until crack will propagate to failure. 6
Analysis Approaches

There are two general approaches to modeling

fracture using finite elements:

1. Analyze the un-cracked body in the finite

element analysis, extract the stress state at any
location to be evaluated, and use a stand-alone
crack propagation code.
These codes use the finite element stresses and
a library of crack geometries to determine K.
Can predict cycles to failure based on cyclic
loading information.

2. Include the crack in the finite element model.

This is considered the most accurate approach
includes stress redistribution.
For crack propagation would need to evaluate the
initial crack, then extend the crack and re-analyze
to obtain K versus crack length.
This procedure becomes more difficult if crack
path is not known ahead of time. 7
Fracture Mechanics Analysis

Creating a finite element mesh with a crack can be a challenging and time-
consuming effort.
In addition, it is often of interest to model various crack sizes to determine the
critical crack size and location.

Workbench v14.5 provides two options for quickly and efficiently including
a crack in the finite element model:
Pre-meshed crack that can be imported.
Using geometry from DesignModeler or mesh from FE Modeler.
Automatic crack creation within Mechanical.

Crack definition input can be assigned as parameters in Workbench.

Can parametrically model the effect of different size and locations of cracks. 8
Fracture Mechanics Analysis

Workbench uses the CINT (contour integration) approach to perform the

fracture post-processing calculations.

Contours are numbered outward from the crack front.

No limit on the number of contours user-controlled.
Radial/ring mesh is not required but usually results in more accurate solution.
For 3D models, hexahedral elements are desirable. 9
Fracture Mechanics Analysis

The following capabilities available in Workbench will be demonstrated:

Creating cracks in 2D analyses using mesh connections.
Automatically creating flat semi-elliptical cracks in 3D analyses.
Obtaining fracture quantities in post-processing.
Crack placement and coordinate system alignment normal to the surface.

Major Radius

Minor Radius 10
Thank you!

Thank you for attending CAE Associates webinar on fracture.

You will receive via email a survey to fill out and return. We welcome any
comments or additional questions on the content.

A transcript of this presentation can be downloaded from our website: 11
Additional Information

The following slides provide more detailed information. 12
3D Automated Crack Procedure

The procedure to include a crack in an

existing model in Workbench v14.5 includes
the following steps:
Create base mesh (no cracks) must use
quadratic tetrahedrons in the region where the
crack will be modeled.
Create a crack coordinate system using the hit
point method to automatically create a local
coordinate system normal to the surface.
Insert the Fracture branch into the Outline Tree,
and insert a Crack Object.
Define the crack geometry and mesh via the
Details of the Crack Object. 13
3D Automated Crack Procedure

Automatically define the location of the crack using the hit point coordinate
Toggle on the Hit Point Coordinate button in the Graphics Toolbar.

Select a point on a surface.

Right-click the Graphics window and select Create Coordinate System Aligned
with Hit Point. 14
3D Automated Crack Procedure

The Crack Shape is currently set to Semi-Elliptical.

Indicate the body where the crack will be scoped.
Indicate the local crack coordinate system.
Define the crack size and shape by major and minor

Crack lies in X-Z plane.

Z is major direction, X is minor direction.
Y is perpendicular to crack face.

Major Radius

Minor Radius 15
3D Automated Crack Procedure

Define mesh settings for crack.

Can also automatically create named selections of

crack nodes.
For example, can create top and bottom crack face
nodes which can be used to apply pressure on the
crack faces. 16
3D Automated Crack Procedure

Mesh crack which will eventually connect to base mesh.

Bonded contact used between buffer zone and base mesh.

Run static structural analysis.

Insert Fracture Tool under Solution, and Insert either J-Integral or SIFS
VCCT is not available with the automated Crack Object since it requires linear
elements in Workbench v14.5. 17
3D Automated Crack Procedure

Insert Fracture Tool under Solution, and Insert either J-Integral or SIFS
VCCT is not available with the automated Crack Object since it requires linear
elements in Workbench v14.5. 18
3D Automated Crack Procedure

Graphics display and plot with contain crack front variation.

Can export results to text or XLS file. 19
Using Parameters With Crack Object

Crack input and fracture output can be defined as parameters. 20
Using Parameters With Crack Object

Crack input and fracture output can be defined as parameters. 21