B-Spline Surface-Based Reduced-Order Modeling of Nonplanar Crack Growth in Structural Digital Twins

Fubin Zhao, Xuan Zhou, Shuangxin He, Chaoyang Wang, Leiting Dong, Satya N. Atluri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonplanar crack growth holds a critical role in aeronautical structures, necessitating effective analysis under mixed fatigue loading to assess structural integrity. This study introduces a reduced-order modeling (ROM) method for predicting nonplanar crack growth in structural digital twins. The method’s advantage lies in its representation of the entire crack surface morphology using a B-spline surface, which better captures its impact on crack growth. The symmetric Galerkin boundary element method–finite element method coupling method is adopted as a full-order method to generate the crack database. Isoparametric coordinates of the crack surface and stress intensity factor serve as input and output, respectively, for training the ROM, which integrates K-means clustering, principal component analysis, and Gaussian process regression. The proposed approach is demonstrated using a rotorcraft-mast-like component. Results reveal superior fracture mechanics parameter prediction compared to the crack-front-based ROM. Furthermore, the method boasts three orders of magnitude greater efficiency than full-order simulation, enabling its coupling with approaches like Monte Carlo for probabilistic crack growth analysis. Future work entails integrating our method into the probabilistic framework of digital twins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-373
Number of pages14
JournalAIAA Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


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