Finite Element Modeling of Fatigue Crack Propagation Using a Self Adaptive Mesh Strategy
A new finite element model has been developed to predict fatigue crack growth in arbitrary 2D geometries under constant amplitude loading. The purpose of this model is on the determination of 2D crack paths and surfaces as well as on the evaluation of components Lifetimes as a part of the damage tolerant assessment. Throughout the simulation of crack propagation an automatic adaptive mesh is carried out in the vicinity of the crack front nodes and in the elements which represent the higher stresses distribution. The fatigue crack direction and the corresponding stress-intensity factors are estimated at each small crack increment by employing the displacement correlation technique under facilitation of singular crack tip elements. The propagation is modeled by successive linear extensions, which are determined by the stress intensity factors under linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) assumption. The stress intensity factors range history has to be recorded along the small crack increments. Upon completion of the stress intensity factors range history recording, fatigue crack propagation life of the examined specimen is predicted. Verification of the predicted fatigue life is validated with relevant experimental data and numerical results obtained by other researchers. The comparisons show that this model is capable of demonstrating the fatigue life prediction results as well as the fatigue crack path satisfactorily.
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