A methodology for computing nonlinear fracture parameters for a bulging crack in a pressurised aircraft fuselage

V. B. Shenoy, D. O. Potyondy, S. N. Atluri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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A computational methodology for obtaining nonlinear fracture parameters which account for the effects of plasticity at the tips of a bulging crack in a pressurised aircraft fuselage is developed. The methodology involves a hierarchical three stage analysis (global, intermediate, and local) of the cracked fuselage, with the crack incorporated into the model at each stage. The global analysis is performed using a linear elastic shell finite element model in which the stiffeners are treated as beam elements. The geometrically nonlinear nature of the bulging phenomenon is emulated in the intermediate analysis using a geometrically nonlinear shell finite element model. The local analysis is a three-dimensional solid finite element model of the cracked skin using a hypoelastic-plastic rate formulation. Kinematic boundary conditions for each stage are obtained from the preceding stage in the hierarchy using a general mesh independent mechanism. The T*integral, which accounts for both large deformations and plasticity, is taken to be the fracture parameter characterising the severity of the conditions at the crack tip, and is evaluated from the local analysis using the Equivalent Domain Integral (EDI) method. The implementation of the EDI technique for finite deformations in shell space is also outlined. The methodology is applied to a number of example problems for which correction factors relating the nonlinear T* values to those obtained from a linear elastic stiffened shell analysis are computed. The issue of flapping is addressed by investigating the behaviour of the longitudinal stress parallel to the crack for various cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-548
Number of pages20
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1994


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