Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Ductile Tearing in Part-Through Cracks: Experiments and Cell-Model

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This study describes an application of the computational cell model to predict ductile crack growth measured in experiments performed on surface-cracked, thick plates fabricated from a ferritic pressure vessel steel. The cell model limits void growth and coalescence to within a thin layer of material over the crack plane. Outside this layer, the material deforms plastically but remains void free. The Gurson–Tvergaard dilatant plasticity model describes the evolution of void growth and the associated macroscopic softening within the cells. Material-specific, cell parameters readily separate into two categories: those describing the micromechanics of void growth rate and those describing the local fracture process of the cell. Calibration of these parameters utilizes both discrete (3-D) cell models and R-curves measured using standard deep-notch bend or compact tension specimens. The cell model is applied here to surface-cracked plates subjected to different loading histories of tension and bending. The calibrated cell model reproduces accurately full details of the load-deformation records and the crack growth profiles for all the cases. These numerical studies suggest that the computational approach based on the cell model provides an engineering tool to predict ductile crack growth behavior in flawed structural components.

Publication Title

Engineering Fracture Mechanics





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