Journal Published Online: 25 August 2016
Volume 5, Issue 3

Integrating Fracture Mechanics Into the Material and Structural Design Process



A new paradigm is now emerging that has the potential to transform fracture control and, in fact, to transform the entire material and structural design process. In a nutshell, the new paradigm is to design and virtually evaluate the material, the manufacturing process, and the structure in an integrated manner for the specific purpose of meeting structural reliability goals in a fraction of the currently required time. The engine of the new paradigm is a set of robust computational models for fatigue crack growth (FCG) and fracture that are fully integrated with computational models for material microstructure and properties, manufacturing processes, and structural response. Efficient methods for calculating stress intensity factors are linked directly with 2D and 3D finite-element models for stress and thermal analysis to perform automated FCG life analysis, next incorporating advanced probabilistic models to calculate fracture risk. The initial conditions for these calculations are informed by direct links to manufacturing process simulation software to determine bulk residual stress fields and location-specific microstructure and properties. Crack origins are linked to specific quantified threats, such as inherent material anomalies, induced manufacturing or maintenance anomalies, or naturally occurring fatigue damage. The entire calculation process is performed in an appropriate probabilistic framework to quantify significant uncertainty and variability. Several specific examples of recent efforts to build and extend this integrated framework are cited, and several suggestions are offered for future work.

Author Information

McClung, R.
Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, TX, US
Pages: 23
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: MPC20160006
ISSN: 2165-3992
DOI: 10.1520/MPC20160006