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# Fracture Mechanics

Brittle fracture
Fracture mechanics is used to formulate quantitatively

and arrest

## Fracture mechanics identifies three primary factors that control the

susceptibility
of a structure to brittle failure.
1. Material Fracture Toughness. Material fracture toughness may be
defined as the ability to carry loads or deform plastically in the
presence of a notch. It may be described in terms of the critical
stress intensity factor, KIc, under a variety of conditions. (These
terms and conditions are fully discussed in the following chapters.)
2. Crack Size. Fractures initiate from discontinuities that can vary from
extremely small cracks to much larger weld or fatigue cracks.
Furthermore,
although good fabrication practice and inspection can minimize the
size and
number of cracks, most complex mechanical components cannot be
fabricated without discontinuities of one type or another.
3. Stress Level. For the most part, tensile stresses are necessary for
brittle
fracture to occur. These stresses are determined by a stress analysis
of the
particular component.

Repulsion

Potential Energy

## Two atoms or a set of atoms are bonded

together by cohesive energy or bond energy.
Two atoms (or sets of atoms) are said to be
fractured if the bonds between the two atoms
(or sets of atoms) are broken by externally

Distance
Bond
Energy

Attraction
Equilibrium
Distance xo

## Theoretical Cohesive Stress

Tension

Compression

Tdx

(2.1)

xo

Where x
is the equilibrium spacing
o
between two atoms.
Idealizing force-displacement relation as one
half of sine wave
T sin( )
C

Applied Force

## If a tensile force T is applied to separate the

two atoms, then bond or cohesive energy is

Bond
Energy

(2.2)

xo

Cohesive
Force

Distance

## Theoretical Cohesive Stress (Contd.)

Assuming that the origin is defined at x o and for small
displacement relationship is assumed to be linear such
x
that sin( )
Hence force-displacement

relationship is given by
x

(2.2)

Potential Energy

TT

Repulsion

Distance
Bond
Energy

Attraction

T
C

Tension

(2.3)

## If there are n bonds acing per unit area and assuming x o

as gage length and multiplying eq. 2.3 by n x o then k
becomes youngs modulus and TC beecomes cohesive
stress C such that
E
c
x o

Or

Bond
Energy

Applied Force

Equilibrium
Distance xo

Compression

xo

(2.4)

(2.5)

spacing

Cohesive
Force

Distance

## Theoretical Cohesive Stress (Contd.)

The surface energy can be estimated as

sin

1
2

dx

(2.6)

Potential Energy

Repulsion

Distance
Bond
Energy

Attraction
Equilibrium
Distance xo
Tension

E

x
C

Bond
Energy

Applied Force

## The surface energy per unit area

is
equal to one half the fracture energy
because two surfaces are created when a
material fractures. Using eq. 2.4 in to
eq.2.6

Compression

xo

(2.7)

Cohesive
Force

Distance

## Inglis (1913) analyzed for the flat plate with an

elliptical hole with major axis 2a and minor axis 2b,
subjected to far end stress The stress at the tip of
the major axis (point A) is given by
2a
A 1
b

(2.8)

## The ratio A is defined as the stress

concentration factor, k t
When a = b, it is a circular hole, thenk t 3.
When b is very very small, Inglis define radius of
curvature as
b2

(2.9)
a
And the tip stress as

a
A 1 a

(2.10)

2b
2a

## Fracture stress for realistic material (contd.)

When a >> b eq. 2.10 becomes
a
A 2

(2.11)

For a sharp crack, a >>> b, 0 and stress at the crack tip tends to
Assuming that for a metal, plastic deformation is zero and the sharpest
crack may have root radius as atomic spacing x o then the stress is
given by
a
(2.12)
A 2
xo

When far end stress reaches fracture stress f , crack propagates and
the stress at A reaches cohesive stress A C
then using eq. 2.7
E
f s
4a

1/ 2

This would

(2.13)

## First documented paper on fracture

(1920)
Considered as father of Fracture
Mechanics

## Griffiths Energy balance approach (Contd.)

A A Griffith laid the foundations of modern fracture mechanics by
designing a criterion for fast fracture. He assumed that preexisting flaws propagate under the influence of an applied stress
only if the total energy of the system is thereby reduced. Thus,
Griffith's theory is not concerned with crack tip processes or the
micromechanisms by which a crack advances.

## Griffith proposed that There is a simple

energy balance consisting of the decrease
in potential energy with in the stressed
body due to crack extension and this
decrease is balanced by increase in surface
energy due to increased crack surface
Griffith theory establishes theoretical strength of
brittle material and relationship between fracture
strength f and flaw size a

2a

## The initial strain energy for the uncracked plate

per thickness is
2
(2.14)
U i dA
A 2E
On creating a crack of size 2a, the tensile force
on an element ds on elliptic hole is relaxed
from dx to zero. The elastic strain energy
released per unit width due to introduction of a
crack of length 2a is given by
a
where displacement
U a 4 12 dx v
0

a sin
u sin g x a cos
E
2a 2
(2.15)
Ua
E
B

2a

## Griffiths Energy balance approach (Contd.)

External work = U w Fdy,
(2.16)

## where F= resultant force = area

=total relative displacement

## The potential or internal energy of the body is

U p =U i +U a -U w

2a

## Due to creation of new surface increase in

surface energy is
(2.17)
U = 4a s

2 2

P1

plate is
2
2a 2
U t dA
Fdy 4a s
A 2E

a
Ua
E

P2

Crack begins
to grow from
length (a)

Crack is
longer by an
increment (da)

)
(a
)
da
+
(a

(2.18)

Displacement, v

2E s
f

Energy, U

## Griffiths Energy balance approach (Contd.)

The variation of U t with crack
extension should be minimum
=
2
U
dU t
2 a
y
erg
n
0
4 s 0
eE
ac
f
r
da
E
Su

4a

(a)
Crack
length, a

1/ 2

Total energy

(2.19)
for plane stress
Stable

Unstable

1/ 2

## The Griffith theory is obeyed by

materials which fail in a completely
brittle elastic manner, e.g. glass,
mica, diamond and refractory
metals.

2a 2
E

Potential energy U
release rate G = a

(2.20)
for plane strain

Ua

Rates, G,

2E s
f
2
a(1 )

Elastic Strain
energy released

Syrface energy/unit
extension =
(b)
Crack
length, a
ac
(a) Variation of Energy with Crack length
(b) Variation of energy rates with crack length

## Griffiths Energy balance approach (Contd.)

Griffith extrapolated surface tension values of soda lime glass
from high temperature to obtain the value at room temperature as
s 0.54J / m 2 . Using value of E = 62GPa,The value of 2E as 0.15

From
the
experimental
study
on
spherical
vessels he
MPa m.
calculated a 2E as 0.25 0.28 MPa m.
1/ 2

1/ 2

## However, it is important to note that according to the Griffith

theory, it is impossible to initiate brittle fracture unless preexisting defects are present, so that fracture is always considered
to be propagation- (rather than nucleation-) controlled; this is a
serious short-coming of the theory.

## Modification for Ductile Materials

For more ductile materials (e.g. metals and plastics) it is found that
the functional form of the Griffith relationship is still obeyed, i.e.
f a1/ 2 . However, the proportionality constant can be used to
evaluate s (provided E is known) and if this is done, one finds the
value is many orders of magnitude higher than what is known to be
the true value of the surface energy (which can be determined by
other means). For these materials plastic deformation accompanies
crack propagation even though fracture is macroscopically brittle;
The released strain energy is then largely dissipated by producing
localized plastic flow at the crack tip. Irwin and Orowan modified
the Griffith theory and came out with an expression
2E( s p )
f

1/ 2

## Where prepresents energy expended in plastic work. Typically for

cleavage in metallic materials p=104 J/m2 and s=1 J/m2. Since p>>
s we have
1/ 2
2E p
f

## Strain Energy Release Rate

The strain energy release rate usually referred to
G

dU
da

Note that the strain energy release rate is respect to crack length and
most definitely not time. Fracture occurs when reaches a critical
value which is denoted G c.
At fracture we have G G c so that
1/ 2

1 EG c
f

Y a

## One disadvantage of using G c is that in order to determine f it is

necessary to know E as well as G.c This can be a problem with some
materials, eg polymers and composites, where varies with
composition and processing. In practice, it is usually more
convenient to combine E andG c in a single fracture toughness K c
parameter K cwhere Kc2 EG. cThen can be simply determined
experimentally using procedures which are well established.

## LINEAR ELASTIC FRACTURE MECHANICS (LEFM)

For LEFM the structure obeys Hookes law and global behavior is linear
and if any local small scale crack tip plasticity is ignored
The fundamental principle of fracture mechanics is that the stress field around a
crack tip being characterized by stress intensity factor K which is related to both
the stress and the size of the flaw. The analytic development of the stress
intensity factor is described for a number of common specimen and crack
geometries below.
The three modes of fracture

## Mode I - Opening mode: where the crack surfaces separate symmetrically

with respect to the plane occupied by the crack prior to the deformation
(results from normal stresses perpendicular to the crack plane);
Mode II - Sliding mode: where the crack surfaces glide over one another in
opposite directions but in the same plane (results from in-plane shear); and

Mode III - Tearing mode: where the crack surfaces are displaced in the

## LINEAR ELASTIC FRACTURE MECHANICS (Contd.)

In the 1950s Irwin [7] and coworkers introduced the concept of stress
intensity factor, which defines the stress field around the crack tip, taking
into account crack length, applied stress and shape factor Y( which
accounts for finite size of the component and local geometric features).
The Airy stress function.
In stress analysis each point, x,y,z, of a stressed solid undergoes the
stresses; x y, z, xy, xz,yz. With reference to figure 2.3, when a body
is loaded and these loads are within the same plane, say the x-y plane,

## 1. plane stress (PSS), when the

thickness of the body is
comparable to the size of the
plastic zone and a free
contraction of lateral surfaces
occurs, and,
2. plane strain (PSN), when
the specimen is thick enough
to avoid contraction in the
thickness z-direction.

Thickness
B

Thickness
B

yy

Crack
Plane

X
a

Plane Stress

Plane Strain

## In the former case, the overall stress state is reduced to the

three components; x, y, xy, since; z, xz, yz= 0, while, in
the latter case, a normal stress, z, is induced which
prevents the z
displacement, ez = w = 0. Hence, from Hooke's law:
z = (x+y)
where is Poisson's ratio.
For plane problems, the equilibrium conditions are:
y xy
x xy

0 ;

0
x
y
y
x

## If is the Airys stress function satisfying the biharmonic

compatibility Conditions 0
4

2
2
2
x 2 , y 2 , xy
y
x
xy

Then

function as

Re[ Z] y Im[Z]

## Where Z is an analytic complex function

bg

Z z Re[ z] y Im[ z] ; z = x + iy

## And Z, Z are 2nd and 1st integrals of Z(z)

Then the stresses are given by
2
x 2 Re[Z] y Im[Z' ]
y
2
y 2 Re[Z] y Im[Z' ]
x
2
xy
y Im[Z' ]
xy
where Z' = dZ dz

## Consider an infinite plate a crack of length 2a subjected to a biaxial

s
State of stress. Defining:
Z

a2

Boundary Conditions :
At infinity | z | x y , xy 0
On crack faces
a x a; y 0 x xy 0

2a

s
By replacing z by z+a , origin shifted to crack tip.

b g
zb
z 2a g

za

## And when |z|0 at the vicinity of the crack tip

KI
Z

2az
2 z
KI a
KI must be real and a constant at the crack tip. This is due to a
1
Singularity given by
z

## The parameter KI is called the

stress intensity factor for opening
mode I.
Since origin is shifted to crack
tip, it is easier to use polar
Coordinates, Using

z ei
Further Simplification gives:

KI

3
cos 1 sin sin
2 r
2
2 2
KI

3
y
cos 1 sin sin
2 r
2
2 2
KI

3
xy
sin cos cos
2 r
2 2
2
KI
In general ij
f ij and K I Y a
2 r
where Y = configuration factor
x

u

2(1 )
r
1

KI
cos
sin 2
E
2
2 2
2

2(1 )
r
1

KI
sin
cos2
E
2 2 2
2

## where u, v = displacements in x, y directions

(3 4 ) for plane stress problems
3

for plane strain problems
1

given by
y

2
2
v

E
(1 2 )
v
E

v
2

## The strain energy required for creation of crack is given by the

work done by force acting on the crack face while relaxing the
stress to zero
1
U a Fv
2

## For plane strain

(1 2 )
2
2
Ua 4
a x dx
Ua 4

E
E
0
0
2 a 2
2 a 2 (1 2 )
E
E
The strain energy release rate is given by G dU a da
a

2 a
GI =
E
K 2I
GI =
E

2 (1 2 )a
GI =
E
K 2I (1 2 )
GI =
E

x 2 dx

## Sliding mode analysis or Mode 2

function is taken as

II y Re[Z]
0

## Using Airs definition for stresses

2
x 2 2 Im[Z] y Re[Z' ]
y
2
y 2 y Re[Z' ]
x
2
xy
Re[Z] y Im[Z' ]
xy

## Using a Westergaard stress function of the form

Z

0 z

a2

2a

Boundary Conditions :
At infinity | z | x y 0, xy 0
On crack faces
a x a; y 0 x xy 0
With usual simplification would give the stresses as
x

K II

3
cos cos 2 cos cos
2 r
2 2
2
2

K II

3
cos sin cos
2 r
2 2
2

xy

K II

3
cos 1 sin sin
2 r
2
2 2

u

K II
E

(1 )sin 2 cos
2
2

K II
E

(1 )cos 2 cos
2
2

K II o a
K 2I
GI =
E
K 2I (1 2 )
GI =
E

for plane strain

## Tearing mode analysis or Mode 3

In this case the crack is displaced along z-axis. Here
the displacements u and v are set to zero and hence
e x e y xy yx 0
w
w
and yz zy
x
y
the equilibrium equation is written as
xy yx

xz yz

0
x
y
Strain displacement relationship is given by
2 w 2 w
2

w0
2
2
x
y

if w is taken as

1
w Im[ Z]
G
Then
xy Im[Z]; yz Re[Z]

Z

0 z

a2

## where 0 is the applied boundary shear stress

with the boundary conditions
on the crack face a x a; y 0 z yz xy 0
on the boundary x y , yz 0

K III

sin
2 r
2
K

yz III cos
2 r
2
x y xy 0
xz

K III 2r

w
sin
G
2
uv0
K III o a