Finite element calculation of stress intensity factors for interfacial crack using virtual crack closure integral

W. T. Chow, S. N. Atluri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This paper presents a successful implementation of the virtual crack closure integral method to calculate the stress intensity factors of an interfacial crack. The present method would compute the mixed-mode stress intensity factors from the mixed-mode energy release rates of the interfacial crack, which are easily obtained from the crack opening displacements and the nodal forces at and ahead of the crack tip, in a finite element model. The simple formulae which relate the stress intensity factors to the energy release rates are given in three separate categories: an isotropic bimaterial continuum, an orthotropic bimaterial continuum, and an anisotropic bimaterial continuum. In the example of a central crack in a bimaterial block under the plane strain condition, comparisons are made with the exact solution to determine the accuracy and efficiency of the numerical method. It was found that the virtual crack closure integral method does lead to very accurate results with a relatively coarse finite element mesh. It has also been shown that for an anisotropic interfacial crack under the generalized plane strain condition, the computed stress intensity factors using the virtual crack closure method compared favorably with the results using the J integral method applied to two interacting crack tip solutions. In order for the stress intensity factors to be used as physical variables, the characteristic length for the stress intensity factors must be properly defined. A study was carried out to determine the effects of the characteristic length on the fracture criterion based the mixed-mode stress intensity factors. It was found that the fracture criterion based on the quadratic mixture of the normalized stress intensity factors is less sensitive to the changes in characteristic length than the fracture criterion based on the total energy release rate along with the phase angle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
JournalComputational Mechanics
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1995

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