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Fat i gue Cr ack
Pr opagat i on
Anal ysi s i n ANSYS
2
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
Fatigue crack formation analysis predicts cycles to failure based purely on
material data of fatigue specimens.
— Even though the total fatigue life includes the growth of cracks, cracks are not
explicitly modeled.
Fatigue performance of structures is more accurately described as follows:
— The presence of stress risers such as holes, manufacturing errors, corrosion
pits, and maintenance damage serve as nucleation sites for fatigue cracking.
— During service, subcritical cracks nucleate from these sites and grow until
catastrophic failure, i.e. unstable crack growth, occurs.
— From an economic point of view, a costly component cannot be retired from
service simply on detecting a fatigue crack.
— Hence, reliable estimation of fatigue crack propagation and residual life
prediction, combined with inspections, are essential so that the component can
be timely serviced or replaced.
3
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
Fatigue crack growth is performed by combining linear elastic fracture
mechanics and fatigue.
— In this approach, an initial crack size and location is considered, and life is
based on the growth of the crack until unstable crack growth occurs.
4
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
Two main approaches for modeling crack growth:
— Fatigue crack growth codes.
• Use stresses from uncracked structure ANSYS analysis.
• Perform crack growth calculations assuming a crack geometry (library of standard
stress intensity functions) and crack growth law.
— Crack modeled directly in finite element analysis.
• Include a crack in the finite element model, and perform a series of solutions to find
the stress intensity factors as the crack grows through the model.
• Then use this data and a fatigue crack growth law to predict cycles until failure.
• Most difficult and timeconsuming approach, since the path of the crack may not be
known ahead of time, changes to the mesh must be made, multiple analyses are
required, etc.
In either case, the stresses near the crack are used to calculate the stress
intensity factor, K.
5
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
Determining if a crack will propagate under given loading conditions is
answered using linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM).
— The stresses near the tip of the crack tend to infinity based on the theory of
elasticity.
— By deriving the forms of these infinite stresses, the strength and order of the
singularity are found.
— The strength of the singularity, called the stress intensity factor K, is used to
determine the behavior of the crack.

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sin 1
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cos
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sin
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sin 1
2
cos
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θ θ θ
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σ
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r
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I
xy
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6
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
K is based on the crack geometry and applied cyclic loading:
) , 2 / ( :
/ 12 . 1
σ
π σ
c a f Q where
Q a K
I
=
=
Through t hickness crack Edge crack Surface ( t humbnail) crack
a
c 2
Dependence of flaw
shape paramet er Q on
t he rat io of dept h t o
widt h of surface crack.
7
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
There are three basic modes of
crack surface displacement:
— Mode I: Opening
— Mode II: Inplane shear.
— Mode III: Outofplane shear.
Solutions for K exist for all modes,
and K
I
, K
II
and K
III
can be calculated
in ANSYS, but it is typical to
assume that K
I
is the dominant
parameter.
8
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
When K
I
reaches some critical value, the part will fail.
Critical value of K
I
, called the fracture toughness or K
IC
, is obtained from a
controlled test of specimens.
Fracture toughness, K
IC
:
— Is an indication of the amount of stress required to propagate a preexisting
flaw.
— Is a measured material property.
— Can vary as a function of:
• Thickness
• Temperature
• Yield stress
9
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
There are a number of calculated fracture mechanics parameters used to
describe or predict crack response:
— All of these parameters can be related to one another, assuming a crack in a
linear elastic isotropic single material.
— K
I
– Stress intensity parameter
— COD – Crack opening displacement
• Measurement of crack opening some distance from the crack tip.
— CTOD – Crack tip opening displacement
• Crack tip measurement based on plastic zone and root radius of crack.
— G – Strain energy release rate
• The rate of transfer of energy from the elastic stress field of the cracked structure to
the inelastic process of crack extension.
— J – J integral
• Pathindependent line integral used to solve crack problems in the presence of
plastic deformation.
10
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
Fracture parameters can be determined:
— Using derived expressions for idealized crack geometries, found by selecting
the crack geometry from a library within nCode.
— By including the crack in ANSYS model and using one of the available
methods:
• Stress intensity factors directly via special crack tip elements (K).
• Jintegral (J).
• Energy release rate (G).
— Assuming linear elastic single material, plane strain formulation, these
parameters are related:
( )
E
K
G J
I
2
2
1 ν −
= =
11
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
Stress intensity factors directly via special crack tip elements (K).
— Midside nodes moved to quarter point location to provide shape function with
correct order of singularity.
— Linear elastic materials only.
Jintegral (J).
— The nonlinear energy release rate, J, can be written as a pathindependent line
integral.
— Calculated by defining paths around crack tip (path creation automated in
ANSYS).
— J uniquely characterizes crack tip stress and strain in nonlinear materials.
Energy release rate (G).
— Measure of the energy available for an increment of crack extension.
— Uses the virtual crack closure technique (VCCT).
— Can use along interface between materials, i.e. delamination.
— Automated crack growth procedure coming in version 14.
12
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem:
— Prediction and comparison of K
I
of compact specimen using the following
methods:
• Hand calculation.
• ANSYS special crack tip elements.
• ANSYS Jintegral method.
13
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem: Hand calculation.
— From fracture mechanics text, K
I
for a compact specimen is given as:
(
(
¸
(
¸

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4 3 2
2
3
60 . 5 72 . 14 32 . 13 64 . 4 886 . 0
1
2
W
a
W
a
W
a
W
a
W
a
W
a
W
a
f
P
W B K
W
a
f
I
1.25 W
B = 1 in
a = 1 in
W = 2 in
P = 33. 3 lb
K
I
= 227. 7 psi in
1/ 2
14
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem: ANSYS special crack tip elements.
— 2D plane strain mesh.
— KSCON command used to automatically create local crack tip mesh with
quarterpoint nodes.
— Half specimen modeled using symmetry boundary conditions.
Crack t ip
Crack face
15
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem: ANSYS special crack tip elements.
— KCALC command used with quarterpoint elements to determine K
I
.
K
I
= 225. 6 psi in
1/ 2
16
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem: ANSYS Jintegral method.
— CINT commands used to define crack tip node and request number of
contours to use (10).
— Same model as before, but special crack tip elements are not required.
— Paths are created automatically around the crack tip, using the next available
row of elements.
Pat h 7 of 10
Crack t ip
Crack face
17
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem: ANSYS Jintegral method.
— Printed Jintegral values for 10 contours:
— Plotted Jintegral values for 10 contours:
J = 0. 00154 lb/ in
18
Numer i cal Met hods
Demonstration problem: ANSYS Jintegral method.
— Relating J and K
I
for plane strain, assuming no plasticity:
( )
E
K
J
I
2
2
1 ν −
=
K
I
= 225.3 psi in
1/ 2
J = 0.00154 lb/ in
E = 30 x 10
6
psi
ν = 0.3
19
Li near El ast i c Fr act ur e Mechani cs
The fatigue crack growth procedure:
— Obtain ∆K from crack geometry and cyclic loading definition.
• Either using library or calculating directly in ANSYS.
— Calculate the change in the length of the crack per cycle using a crack growth
law.
The damage tolerant procedure:
— Inspections to determine current crack sizes and locations.
— Finite element analysis to determine stress and/or K.
— Crack growth code to determine remaining cycles to failure.
— Use life prediction to set inspection interval, at which time the procedure is
repeated.
( )
n
K C
dN
da
∆ =
20
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
There are many different crack growth laws currently used in industry.
— No single universallyaccepted method exists; each has its own capabilities
and limitations.
— All use a differential equation to describe the crack growth rate (da/dN) as a
function of the stress intensity factor range at the crack tip (∆K).
— The first and most basic relationship is the Paris power law [1963], which
describes the linear region in the loglog plot below:
( )
n
K C
dN
da
∆ =
21
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
The crack growth module in nCode will accept the following laws:
— BasicParis  Walker
— Austen  InterpolatedRAE
— Forman  InterpolatedForman
— NASGRO3  MarshallsSentry
Builtin stress intensity factor library contains most common idealized
crack geometries, such as the single edge crack in tension.
— Or can supply K vs. crack length data directly from finite element analysis.
22
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
nCode crack growth analysis steps:
Spectrum loading defined
using a CSV file, or from
files containing more
general load data.
23
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
nCode crack growth analysis steps:
Select crack growth law,
crack geometry, and
material property.
NASGRO3 material library, obtained from AFGROW, is
available. Can create userdefined materials via
Material Manager or directly creating XML file.
Results shown
graphically or
in tabular form.
24
Fat i gue Cr ack Gr ow t h
nCode crack growth analysis demonstration problem.:
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