Further studies into interacting 3D cracks

S. Pitt, R. Jones, S. N. Atluri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The phenomenon of ageing structures has focused attention on the problem of multiple-site damage (MSD) and wide spread fatigue damage (WFD). In isolation each flaw or crack may be safe. However, the cumulative effect of multiple, interacting cracks may significantly degrade the damage tolerance of the structure. This paper presents an overview of a new finite element alternating technique algorithm suitable for calculating mode I stress-intensity factors for an arbitrary number of coplanar interacting three dimensional cracks. This new algorithm has been evaluated for a variety of crack aspect ratios and crack separation ratios for fully embedded elliptical cracks, semi-elliptical surface flaws and for quarter elliptical cracks. In each instance, test cases have been studied for both finite and infinite geometries. Results of three of these cases are presented in this paper. These results indicate an agreement to within 4% for all cases checked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-597
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • 3D cracks
  • Aging structures
  • Multiple-site damage
  • Widespread fatigue damage


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