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Finite Element Study on Normal Stress Distribution to the Kerf Plane in a Finite Plate Under Mode I Loading

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The normal stress distribution to the crack plane in fracture mechanics studies is well recognized. However, the detailed normal stress distribution to the kerf plane is still unknown. A recent study has proven that the kerf can be used as alternative in crack interactions under tension loading and as a crack arrestor in fracture mechanics. By definition, kerf is the amount of material removed by machining tool on a single pass plus tools cutting tolerance. The use of kerf in fracture mechanics studies as an alternative to the crack has a great advantage as it is much easier to fabricate. Therefore, it is essential to study normal stress distribution to the kerf plane to further understand the behaviour of the kerf in fracture mechanics. The finite element analysis has been used to model a finite plate which contains various length of kerf at the edge. A simple experiment was conducted to measure actual dimensions of the kerf for finite element model. The normal stress value to the kerf plane along the horizontal distance from the kerf tip has been studied and compared with the results obtained using crack plane model. It can be concluded that stress distribution normal to the kerf plane is comparable to the crack plane. The only difference is that the use of a kerf would not produce high value of stress near its tip as demonstrated by a crack. Results have been compared with theoretical and they show an approximated maximum error less than 5 %.
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Crack; Finite Element; Kerf; Stress Distribution

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