A general procedure for modified crack closure integral in 3D problems with cracks


In linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM), Irwin's crack closure integral (CCI) is one of the signficant concepts for the estimation of strain energy release rates (SERR) G, in individual as well as mixed-mode configurations. For effective utilization of this concept in conjunction with the finite element method (FEM), Rybicki and Kanninen [Engng Fracture Mech. 9, 931 938 (1977)] have proposed simple and direct estimations of the CCI in terms of nodal forces and displacements in the elements forming the crack tip from a single finite element analysis instead of the conventional two configuration analyses. These modified CCI (MCCI) expressions are basically element dependent. A systematic derivation of these expressions using element stress and displacement distributions is required. In the present work, a general procedure is given for the derivation of MCCI expressions in 3D problems with cracks. Further, a concept of sub-area integration is proposed which facilitates evaluation of SERR at a large number of points along the crack front without refining the finite element mesh. Numerical data are presented for two standard problems, a thick centre-cracked tension specimen and a semi-elliptical surface crack in a thick slab. Estimates for the stress intensity factor based on MCCI expressions corresponding to eight-noded brick elements are obtained and compared with available results in the literature

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