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Natural Sciences Tripos Part II

MATERIALS SCIENCE
C15: Fracture and Fatigue


Name

College.
Dr Cathie Rae

Easter Term 2013-14

Department of Materials
Science and Metallurgy

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FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

C15: FRACTURE AND FATIGUE


Catherine Rae 9 Lectures
Synopsis

Introduction: This course examines the use of fracture mechanics in the prediction of mechanical
failure. We explore the range of macroscopic failure modes; brittle and ductile behaviour. We take a
closer look at fast fracture in brittle and ductile materials characteristics of fracture surfaces; inter-
granular and intra-granular failure, cleavage and micro-ductility. We describe the range of fatigue
failure and apply fracture mechanics to the growth of fatigue cracks.

Introduction: Revision of concept of energy release rate, G, and fracture energy, R. Obreimoffs
experiment. Brittle and ductile failure, Timeline for developments.

Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics, (LEFM). We look at the three loading modes and hence the state
of stress ahead of the crack tip. This leads to the definition of the stress concentration factor, stress
intensity factor and the material parameter the critical stress intensity factor.

Superposition principle, Mixed mode loading and the prediction of crack growth direction.

Plasticity at the crack tip and the principles behind the approximate derivation of plastic zone shape
and size. Limits on the applicability of LEFM. The effect of Constraint, definition of plane stress and
plane strain and the effect of component thickness.

Concept of G - R curves, measuring G and K.

Elastic-Plastic Fracture Mechanics; (EPFM). The definition of alternative failure prediction
parameters, Crack Tip Opening Displacement, and the J integral. Measurement of parameters and
examples of use.

The effect of Microstructure on fracture mechanism and path, cleavage and ductile failure, factors
improving toughness,

Fatigue: definition of terms used to describe fatigue cycles, High Cycle Fatigue, Low Cycle Fatigue,
mean stress R ratio, strain and load control. S-N curves.

Total life and damage tolerant approaches to life prediction, Paris law.

Adapting data to real conditions: Goodmans rule and Miners rule. Micro-mechanisms of fatigue
damage, fatigue limits and initiation and propagation control, leading to a consideration of factors
enhancing fatigue resistance.

Factors affecting crack growth rates: Creep, oxidation and corrosion. Dissipation energy criterion for
crack growth.




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Booklist:

FRACTURE AND FATIGUE


rd
T.L. Anderson, Fracture Mechanics Fundamentals and Applications, 3 Ed. CRC press, (2005) (Fracture
mechanics and its application to fatigue, very thorough and readable)

nd
B. Lawn, Fracture of Brittle Solids, Cambridge Solid State Science Series 2 ed 1993. (Exactly as it says
on the label very good on LEFM)

J.F. Knott, P Withey, Worked examples in Fracture Mechanics, Institute of Materials. (Excellent short
summary of fracture mechanics and good worked examples)

H.L. Ewald and R.J.H. Wanhill Fracture Mechanics, Edward Arnold, (1984). (Provides very clear
explanations different perspective from Anderson)

S. Suresh, Fatigue of Materials, Cambridge University Press, (1998)
(Excellent on fatigue but long and quite tough going)

G. E. Dieter, Mechanical Metallurgy, McGraw Hill, (1988)
(Good entry-level text on mechanical properties)

Robert Wei, Fracture Mechanics, CUP, (2010). (Concise account of the basics and good examples of
creep and environmental effects on fatigue and fracture.)

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FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

FRACTURE AND FATIGUE


SYNOPSIS

This course examines the use of fracture mechanics in the prediction of mechanical failure. We
explore macroscopic failure modes; brittle and ductile behaviour, and take a closer look at fast
fracture in brittle and ductile materials characteristics of fracture surfaces; inter-granular and intra-
granular failure, cleavage and micro-ductility.

Fatigue causes 90% of engineering failures: we examine how we characterise the susceptibility of
materials to fatigue and estimate lifetimes.

Prior Knowledge assumed:



Griffiths Equation for an ideal brittle material: IA

2 sE

a

For a ductile material the plastic work of deformation p , is introduced:



(2 s + p )E
a




Obreimoffs experiment wedgingIB

Ed3h2
U = UE =

8a3

The surface energy needed to grow the crack is



US = 2a where is the surface energy.

Equating the elastic energy to the surface energy gives an equilibrium crack length ao of:

ao = 4 3Ed3h2 /16

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WHAT DO BRITTLE AND DUCTILE REALLY MEAN?



























Impact testing -

The brittle ductile transition represents the change from general plastic yielding to the propagation of
a distinct crack this so-called brittle failure can be very ductile and the fracture surface show
evidence of extensive plasticity.

The brittle ductile transition is governed by the macroscopic yield in the specimen, not what is going
on at the crack tip. Hence values depend, within limits, on the particular geometry of the specimens
and their deformation characteristics. Tests such as the impact test of which there are several
standards (Charpy, Izod etc) are difficult to analyse and provide relative rather than quantitative data.
They are nevertheless extremely useful as they are quick and simple to perform can be compared
with reference data to provide excellent quality control.

If the energy absorbed by rapid failure is plotted against the temperature for steels a transition is
observed from a high to a low value over a limited temperature range.

FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

Energy absorbed

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Energy absorbed

% Cleavage failure
NDT
FATT

Temperature

Two of the transition temperatures defined are: the nil ductility temperature where the curve just
begins to rise, and the fracture-surface appearance transition temperature, FATT, based on 50% of
the surface being cleavage failure. The former corresponds to the point at which general yield occurs
throughout the remaining width of the sample.

Factors promoting cleavage failure are:

immobile dislocations e.g BCC metals and

high dislocation density

large grain size large build up of stress from pile-ups

coarse carbides can crack

deep notches - constraint

thick specimens (plane strain).


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TIME LINE

Fatigue

Fracture

~1500

- Leonardo da Vinci failure stress of iron wires depends on


length i.e. on probability of flaw

1842

- Railway accident Versailles - failure of axle

1843

- significance of fatigue striations recognized WJM Rankin

1852-1869

- Wohler systematic experiments on bending and torsion


development of S-N curves

1874 & 1899

Gerber and Goodman life prediction methodologies

1886

Baushinger effect noted

1900

Ewing and Rosenberg recognition of persistent slip bands


extrusions and intrusions

1913

Inglis elastic stress field around elliptical hole

1920

Griffiths equation for brittle materials

1930

Obreimoffs experiment

1938

Westergaarde elastic solution of the stress distribution at


a sharp crack

1945

Constance Tipper and the Liberty ships - Recognition of the


Ductile Brittle transition Tipper test and the role of crystal
structure in failure

1945

Minor accumulation of fatigue damage

1953 -54

Comet airliner losses due to fatigue failure

1954

Coffin Manson empirical laws for HCF and LCF

1956

1956

Wells applies fracture mechanics to fatigue to explain the


Comet fatigue fractures

1956

Irwin development of the concept of energy release rate


based on Westergardes work

1956

Demonstration of the role of PSB in initiating fatigue failure

1957

Fracture mechanics predicts disc failures for GE

1960

1960

Paris law relating the crack growth rate to the stress


intensity factor

1960-61

Irwin/Dugdale/Wells development of LEFM and effect of


plastic zone size and shape

1968

Proposal of the J integral by rice and the CTOD by Wells to


cope with the failure of ductile materials

1976

Shih and Hutchinson establish the theoretical basis of the J-


Integral and link it to the CTOD

1980

Chaboche Development of time dependant fracture


interactions between creep and fatigue.

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FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

LINEAR ELASTIC FRACTURE MECHANICS


When a crack occurs in a material the local stress around the crack is raised. LEFM relies on the
sufficient of the specimen/component being elastic such that the energy release rate can be
calculated from the elastic displacements around the crack tip. Hence if you can solve for the elastic
stress in any configuration you can (in principle) calculate G from dUE/da.

STRESS CONCENTRATION AT FEATURES



In some simple situations the equations governing elastic deformation can be solved analytically:

i. Expressing the stresses in terms of complex potentials
ii. Specifying the boundary conditions
iii. Finding functions to satisfy the above

Or, more generally, solving the problem using finite element analysis. One problem for which there is
a solution is that of a circular hole in an infinite thin plate subject to a stress o.


In polar co-ordinates the stresses are given
by:

rr

= o
2

+/ro2 $
ro4
ro2 '
&
)
+ &1 + 3 4 ) cos 20
,1 +
-.
-1
r2 %
r4
r2 (

o
2

+/r2 %
r4 (
,1 + o ''1 + 3 o ** cos 20
-.
-1
r2 &
r4 )

,*
o (*"
ro4
ro2 %
r = )$$1 3 4 + 2 2 '' sin2 -
2 +*#
r
r &
.*



Substituting r = ro and = 90 and 0: gives the maximum and minimum hoop stresses , at the edge
of the notch as 3o and -o. Thus the presence of a round hole in the plate increases the tensile stress
by a factor of three in one direction and introduces a compressive stress at the top of the hole equal
to the distant tensile stress.

Because all the stresses are elastic and therefore small, the imposed stress fields, and the solutions
for those stress fields, can be added: this is known as the PRINCIPLE OF SUPERPOSITION.

Hence, in biaxial stress the two stresses o at right angles are added to each other to produce a 2D
hydrostatic tension and the stresses around the hole in the plate are constant:

3o- o = 2o.

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Another important situation for which an exact solution exists is that of an elliptical hole, semi-axes a
and b, in a plate, subject to a distant stress o. In this case the maximum stress is at the tip of the
ellipse:

2b

2
2a

$
# 2a &
a'
max = o %1+ ( or max = o &&1+ 2 ))
b'
(
$
%

b2
where =
the radius tangential at the tip.
a

Hence for a long thin crack where a >>b, max

$ a'
)
= o &&2
)

%
(


This is slightly modified for a half crack at the edge of a plate by the factor 1.12 because the free
surface (zero stress) allows the ellipse to open rather wider than for the embedded crack.

The factor max/o by which the elastic stress is raised by a feature such as a crack or a hole is the
stress concentration factor kt. This is dimensionless.

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SHARP CRACKS

The above is very useful for finding the effect of features (intended or unintended) in the structure,
but most cracks are long and have sharp tips. These can be of atomic dimensions in brittle materials.

In 1938 Westergaard solved the stress field for an infinitely sharp crack in an infinite plate. The elastic
stresses were given by the equations;


xx =

! $ (
! $ ! 3 $+
cos " % *1 sin " % sin " %# 2 &)
# 2 & # 2 &,
2 r

o a

yy =

! $ '
! $ ! 3 $*
cos " % )1+ sin " % sin " %,
# 2 &(
# 2 & # 2 &+
2 r

o a

xy =

o a

! $
! $
! 3 $
sin " % cos " % cos " %
# 2&
# 2&
#2&
2 r





+ similar expressions for displacements u



All the equations separate into a geometrical factor and the stress intensity factor:

K = o a

K determines the amplitude of the additional stress due to the crack over the whole specimen, but
particularly at the crack tip where growth has to occur.

When = 0 the stress opening the crack has the value :

yy =

o a
2 r

K
2 r


The value of K at which fracture occurs is the material-dependant

Fracture Toughness: K Ic

= f a


For a fixed stress this defines the maximum stable crack length or for a fixed crack length the
maximum stress.

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10

You have come across K in 1A and 1B: Be careful, there are a number of parameters K:

kt =

max
o

stress concentration factor (dimensionless)

K = o a stress intensity factor Pa m


K Ic = f a critical stress intensity factor Pa m or Fracture Toughness




The equations indicate an infinite stress at the crack tip when r = 0. This is not a problem as the
stored elastic energy forms a finite interval. A small volume at the crack tip will be above the yield
stress and thus in a plastic state.

The form for the stress intensity is for a crack in an infinite plate, but more generally the
dimensionless constant Y is added to account for the geometry of loading in a wide range of more
realistic crack geometries:

K = Y o a

K = 1.12 o a

Edge crack of length a, normal to app in a semiinfinite body:

2
a
Circular internal crack, radius a in an infinite body lying normal to app
o
2
K = 1.12 o a Semi-circular surface crack, radius a in a semi-infinite body, normal to app:

K=

OTHER MODES OF FAILURE PRINCIPLE OF SUPERPOSITION



The above equations considered only a stress normal to the crack surface but much more complex
states of stress will exist at cracks. These can be resolved in to three distinct crack opening modes,
termed with extraordinary imagination, modes I II and III. Combinations of these can describe any
state of stress and the stresses are additive as they remain elastic.
For example the mode II stress equations include the factor

= K II

Crack opening modes I, II and III.





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11

WORKING OUT THE ENERGY RELATING G TO K



The stress intensity K is the key value defining the stresses around the crack tip arising from that
crack. There is a very simple relationship between K and the energy release rate G. It is this simplicity
that makes K such a useful value to know.

The energy release rate is given by integrating stress strain over the volume of the cracked body,
and has the value:

G=

K2
K2
(1 2 ) for plane strain.
For plain stress, or G =
E
E


To show how this works we take the example of a simple through-thickness centre crack. We
calculate G from the work necessary to close the open crack. The displacement, u, of the surface of
the crack is given by the equation:

u=

2 o 2
a x2
E

1/2


Hence the elastic energy is the negative of the work done:

a" u %
UE = 2 $ o ' 2dx
0
# 2 &
1/2
4 o2 2 a 2
2
a

x
dx

2E 0
1/2
4 o2 2 /2
dx
UE =
a 1 sin2
d

0
2E
d
4 2 /2
UE = o a cos acos d
E 0
4 o2a2 1 /2
UE =
(cos2 + sin2 )d

0
E 2

UE =

UE =

4 o2a2 " $ /2
4 o2a2
o2a2


2E # %0
2 2E
E


Differentiating the elastic energy gives the energy release rate:

dUE
dUE 2a o2 K 2
G=
=
=
=

dA
2da
2E
E




Hence, the values of K for each opening mode, KI, KII, KIII, can each be assessed separately by adding
all the contributing K values for each mode. Thus it is possible to assess complex shapes and loading
by calculating the Ks for each of the applied loads.


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12

But, the total change in energy in the body as a whole can be expressed directly in terms of the
individual stress intensities which characterise the crack tip stress and displacement fields. The total
energy release rate is given by the expression:

EG = KI2 + KII2 + (1+ )KIII2

For plane stress or:

EG = (1 2 )KI2 + (1 2 )KII2 + (1+ )KIII2

For plane strain.



i.e. for a given mode add the K values, but to assess the total energy release rate add the G
values for each modes (sum the squares of K).

Note: These equations do not include the background stress which must be added.

K dominated

ys
Overall stress

o
r
Plastic zone

Diagram showing the net stress resulting from the remote stress and the stress intensity . For o << ys
the plastic zone is dominated by the stress concentration effect of the crack.

MIXED MODE LOADING



In many situations a crack is subject to a
combination of the three different modes
of loading, I, II and III. A simple example is
a crack located at an angle other than 90
to a tensile load: the tensile load o, is
resolved
into
two
component
perpendicular to the crack, Mode I, and
parallel to the crack, Mode II. The stress
intensity at the tip can then be assessed
for each mode using the appropriate
equations and the two values of K
combined to give the energy release rate
G as above.
Other examples include bending where
the crack is not located symmetrically to
the loading points and this is widely used
to explore the failure criteria Gc under
mixed mode loading

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13

DIRECTION OF CRACK GROWTH



Cracks grow at the minimum stress necessary. If there is an easier route they take it. So for
instance, if fracture along a grain boundary requires less energy then all things being equal
the crack will be intergranular. However, the energy for the crack growth comes from the
elastic energy released and this is a function of the growth direction of the crack. In this
section we calculate how the energy release rate varies with direction.

PREDICTING DIRECTION FOR A MODE I CRACK:

If we know the value of K for a crack under specific loading conditions then we can calculate
G as a function of the direction of growth and by differentiating this as a function of the
growth direction figure out the path the crack will take. This calculation also gives the energy
penalty a crack will pay for taking a different path - a grain boundary or a cleavage plane for
instance.




Take a simple through thickness sharp crack of length a. Add to this a tiny virtual crack at an
arbitrary angle to the plane of the main crack. This virtual crack is too small to affect the
stress state at the tip, but Westergaards equations can be used to work out the local state
of stress.

2

K I! = a K II! = r

( K !) + ( K ! )
a and G =
I

II


Using the polar versions of Westergaards equations to give the local stress state at the crack

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14

tip under the MODE I loading:



$cos( / 2)[1+ sin2 ( / 2)] '


$ '
)
& rr )
KI &
cos 3 ( / 2)
MODE I: & ) =
)
12 &
& ) 2r & sin( / 2) cos 2 ( / 2) )
% r (
%
(

( )

( a
( a
" %+
" %
" %+
o
o
K I! = * o
cos3 $ '- a and K II! = * o
sin $ ' cos2 $ '- a
* 2 r

*) 2 r
# 2 &-,
# 2&
# 2 &-,
)

2
2
'
! $$ ! ! $
! $$ * a
o2 ao )!
3
2
Hence: G =

# cos # &&& + ## sin # & cos # &&& ,
2 r )#"
2 %% " " 2 %
2 %% , E
"
"
(
+

To predict the angle we only need consider the -dependent terms in the centre:

Plotting these gives the following graph:



1.2%

1%

0.8%

0.6%

0.4%

0.2%

0%
!180%

!90%

0%

90%

180%

!0.2%
KI%

KII%

G%

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15

PLASTIC ZONE SIZE



The equations above indicate an infinite stress at the crack tip when r=0. Thus a small volume at the
crack tip will be above the yield stress and thus in a plastic state. This has two effects:

1. The deformation occurring in the plastic zone as the crack grows greatly increases R, the
work to propagate the crack.

2. The nominal elastic energy stored in the plastic zone is not released as the crack grows, but,
provided the plastic zone remains small, this is a small proportion of the integral evaluating
the energy release rate. Hence, for small plastic zone size linear elastic fracture mechanics
can be applied to ductile failure.

How big does the plastic zone size need to be before we need to modify the energy release rate
equation? This occurs when the elastic energy not stored in the plastic zone represents a sizeable
proportion of the total energy release rate G. Calculating the plastic zone size is not easy, and we
rely on a couple of approximations (Dugdale and Irwin, see Ewalds page 56) to estimate the effect.
They give similar results and so we will look briefly at only one method, that due to Irwin.

The simplest estimate is made by assuming that the area ahead of the crack tip where the stress
exceeds the yield stress is plastic; (see diagram on page 12). Thus ignoring the remote stress, the size
of the plastic zone rp is:

ys =

KI
2ry

2
1 $ KI '
&
)
ry =
2 &% ys )(

hence



This, however, takes no account of the redistribution of stress from the material that had yielded to
remaining material further away from
the crack tip.
the

We can estimate this by assuming a plastic zone, radius ry ahead of the crack tip. The effect of the
plastic flow is to open the crack more widely than the purely elastic response would predict, thus the
elastic field of the crack behaves as if it were a longer than it really is. The tip of the virtual crack
acts as the nominal centre for the stress and strain fields resulting from the crack and for the
associated plastic zone.




A







Diagram showing elastic stress
redistribution as a result of yielding
Irwin model.
The extent of the extended plastic
zone is defined by the yield stress.
2
1 $ KI '
2
&
) =
ry =
a + a
2
2 &% ys )(
2 ys

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Where KI

FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

16

= a + a and the new plastic zone size is: rp = a + ry



Irwin determined Da on the basis that the average of the nominal stress in the plastic zone in the
plane perpendicular to the stress axis should equal the
real stress, i.e. the yield stress. Then the load is
being supported by the cracked component remains the same with and without the plastic zone. In
effect the area under the stress graph, A, is set equal to ysa.


ry

ys a =

(a + a)
2r

ry

dr y ry

ys a + ry =

(a + a)

2r

dr

ys a + ry =

2 a + a
2

ry but ys 2ry =

(a + a) from above


ys

(a + r ) =

2ys 2ry

2
1 % KI (
'
*
r
y a = ry and a =
2 '& ys *)

and rp

1 $ KI '
&
) = 2ry
&% ys )(



Thus the virtual crack tip determining the elastic stress/strain field ends at the centre of the plastic
zone.

Dugdales analysis is rather more sophisticated but also assumes that the crack is longer than it really
is and superimposes point closure forces onto each end of the crack onto the overall elastic solution
for the enlarged crack. The criterion for the imposed closure stress is that the sum of the closure and
remote stresses cancel at the crack tip removing the singularity. (see Anderson page 64)

Dugdales analysis gives a slightly larger plastic zone size:



2

!K $
!K $
rp = 0.392 ## I && instead of rp = 0.318 ## I && from Irwin.
" ys %
" ys %


It is not worth worrying too much about these factors as both analysis are predicated on perfect
plastic behavior, i.e no work hardening. In fact materials will work harden to different extents and
would thus be able to sustain higher loads in the plastic zone than these analyses predict. FE analysis
provides a better method of assessing the plastic zone size for each material from its particular
plasticity characteristics.

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17

REAL PLASTIC ZONE SIZES



We can use this to estimate the error introduced by the plasticity at various ratios of the stress to
the yield stress.

1/2

sys MPa KIC MPam
ASM
rpplane
rp Plane
Crit.
stress
strain
High strength Steel 1200
60




Structural steel
400
150




Alumina
5000
1





Perspex
30
1







For most components the size of the plastic zone is fairly small but concerns must be raised for the
validity of LEFM in the case of structural steels. In practice the ASM standard requires that the crack
length a, the specimen thickness B, and the residual specimen width (W a) of a test-piece are all
greater

2

!K $
than 2.5 # I & .
# &
" ys %


This means that, in effect, rp < a/8 for LEFM to apply. As a rule of thumb, the plastic zone should be
less than 20% of the area dominated by the crack tip stresses (rather than the remote stresses) which
is about 10% of the crack length.





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18

REAL SHAPE OF PLASTIC ZONE



The plastic zone is not going to be circular since the largest shear stresses occur at 45 to the crack
(equations page 10). The exact shape is tricky to calculate and depends on the yield criterion used.
Using the Von Mises criterion for yield :

ys

1 "
=
$ 1 2
2#

) + (

) + (

% 2
'&


and substituting the Mode I principal stresses in polar co-ordinates:

1 =

! $'
! $*
cos # &)1+ sin # &,
" 2 %(
" 2 %+
2 r

2 =

! $(
! $+
cos # &*1 sin # &-
" 2 %)
" 2 %,
2 r

KI

KI

3 = 0 for plane stress, and

3 =

2 K I

! $
cos # & for plane strain
" 2%
2 r



we are able to solve for rp and obtain the limits of the plastic zone:

2

1 !# K I $&
rp =
4 #" ys &%

()

'
3 2 *
)1+ cos + sin ,
2
(
+

For plane stress

1 !# K I $& (
rp =
* 1 2
4 #" ys &% )

()

) (1+ cos ) + 32 sin -,


2

For plane strain



plotting this gives the shapes for the plastic zone. Note the value for plane strain will be smaller by
2
some (1-2) which is 0.16 for = 0.3. Thus the plastic zone is of a slightly different shape and
smaller in size for the constrained central part of the crack.


Plane stress at outside edge

Plane strain in centre


Diagram of the plastic zone and the effect of through thickness crack.

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Plastic Zone shape for Mode I, II and III crack opening, calculated from von Mises yield
criterion.

19



Similarly the plastic zone size and shape can be derived for the other crack opening modes and these
are shown in the above Figure. In general the most likely cause of crack growth is mode I opening,
and consideration of this is able to solve most problems.


Again it must be emphasized that the exact solution depends on the plasticity of the material and that
there is a gradual transition from plane stress to plane strain. A high work-hardening rate reduces the
plastic zone size as more stress can be sustained by the plastic material. When the plastic zone size
becomes comparable with the thickness of the specimen, plain strain is not achieved at the centre of
the crack. However, provided the plastic zone size is small compared to the thickness the stress
intensity factor KIc provides a reasonable fracture criterion.


As the thickness decreases the measured KIc increases from a plane strain plateau value to a higher
value characteristic of plane stress. Thus to define KIc a small plastic zone size and plane strain
conditions are required. But use can be made of LEFM in situations of plane stress i.e. thin plates,
provided the values of KIc that are used are found in material of similar thickness, In these
circumstances KIc is not a material constant as it varies with the dimensions of the specimen.

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20

KIc
Plane stress

Plane strain

Specimen Thickness


The effect of specimen thickness on the critical stress intensity and tear drop morphology in a corner
crack specimen.


The constraint at the centre of a thick sample causes the crack to progress the furthest at the centre
of the crack and the sides fail by plastic shear forming two lips which will point up or down randomly
as in the cup and cone fracture. The centre part of the crack will be normal to the tensile axis on
average, (this masks valleys and ridges on a smaller scale). As the load on the sample increases the
plastic zone size increases and the width in plane strain decreases. Eventually the plane stress
conditions extend across the sample and a diagonal shear failure results.

This leads to the kind of fracture surface seen below where the crack starts at a notch propagating by
ductile cleavage at right angles to the stress . Two shear lips develop: in this case one sloping up and
the other down.

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21

R AND G CURVES:

The material resistance to crack extension, R, consists of the energy to create two new surfaces, 2gs
together with any mechanism that absorbs energy as the crack grows. In the case of brittle fracture R
does not depend on the size of the crack, but where plastic work is done developing a plastic zone R
may well vary with the crack size, increasing or decreasing. The increase could result from an increase
in the plastic zone size as we saw on the previous page. Initially the constraint due to the thickness of
the specimen inhibits plastic flow, restricts the size of the plastic zone and keeps R low. As a plastic
zone develops at the sides of the sample R increases reducing the area of ductile cleavage until the
entire crack fails by shear. At this point R reaches a maximum value. (You have discussed rising R
values in IA in relation to crack bridging)




[Alternatively, a decrease could result from the strain rate sensitivity of the flow stress reducing the
plastic zone size as the crack grows faster.]


G varies with the size of the crack and the geometry of loading. For fixed grips the load drops as the
crack extends and thus the energy release rate, G, will drop. But for the same specimen at fixed load,
G increases as the crack grows.

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MEASURING G:

Consider two simple situations, a fixed strain where a growing crack reduces the load (strain control)
and a fixed load where the crack growth increases the length of the specimen (load control).

G=

1 " dU %
1 " dU %
$
' for strain control and G = $
' for load control.
B # da &u
B # da &P


*Note U = potential energy and u = displacement and P = load.

Consider a plate, thickness B, loaded with a force P. This contains a crack length a and as a result of
the crack the plate has extended a distance u. The crack extends by da. Under load control the
specimen lengthens by du, and the work done by the external force is dUF = - Pu. The extra work
stored elastically by virtue of the change in crack length and the consequent change in specimen
length dUE = 1/2Pu. Thus half the work done is stored in the regular way as in an un-cracked body
and the rest is released as the elastic response of the body changes as a result of the crack growth.
Under strain control the load is reduced by dP and the energy released: dUF = -1/2uP as no external
work is done (dP is negative).

LC: dUE
LC:

1
1
= Pdu Pdu = Pdu
2
2
1
GBa = + Pu

2

SC:

SC:

1
dUE = udP
2
1
GBa = uP
2


We now introduce the Compliance: the inverse stiffness C = u/P.


LC:

G=+

P ! du $
P ! du $ ! dC $
P 2 ! dC $
# & =+
#
& #
& =
#
&
2B " da %P
2B " dC %P " da %p 2B " da %p

G=

u " dP %
u " dP % " dC %
P 2 " dC %
$
' =
$
' $
' =
$
'
2B # da &u
2B # dC &u # da &u 2B # da &u


SC:




The expression for G is the same in both cases.


The compliance depends on the specimen shape, in particular on the crack geometry and length,
remember the sample is assumed to be elastic at all points.

By measuring the compliance as a function of the crack length the energy release rate can be
calculated from the load P.

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Lets look at this graphically: for a specimen under strain control (the grips are fixed) the crack growth
causes a fall in the external force P which is equal to the energy released by the crack in growing a.
This is equal to the area of the shaded triangle OAC.

Fixed Load
A
B
a

dUE = --1/2Pdu

a
a+da
O
P

Pdu

du



For Load control, the specimen extends at fixed load and the energy released is the area of the
triangle OAB. Thus the only difference between the two cases is the area of the triangle ABC w hich is
of the order 1/2Pu and approaches zero in the limit.

Thus the value of G depends only on the geometry of the sample: shape, crack length etc, and the
loading, P.

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MEASURING R:

For brittle materials R does not change as the crack grows and failure occurs when the stress
rises to the point where G equals R.



The R curve can be measured from a plot of load P against extension u, using the gradient of the
unloading line at any point to give the compliance as the crack extends. G =

P 2 ! dC $
#
&
2B " da %u


For a rising R curve G must exceed R at any crack length, but as the crack grows R can exceed G.
Hence, for fast fracture, G must increase with the crack length faster than the resistance to crack
growth. Fast fracture will occur when dG/da > dR/da. If dG/da = dR/da the crack will continue
growing in a controlled manner (so-called stable crack growth).

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MEASURING KIc

In principle k can be measured from the load at failure and the crack length in a standard sized
specimen containing a sharp crack grown usually by fatigue. However, for the test to be valid three
criteria must be satisfied:

the specimen must be large enough for the plastic zone size to be a small proportion of the
sample and we have the criterion for the dimensions a, B and W discussed earlier:
2

!K $
a, B and (W-a) 2.5 # I &
# &
" ys %

The maximum fatigue stress intensity K is less than 80% of KIc

the crack is still roughly in the middle of the sample, 0.45 a/W 0.55.


If the testpiece were entirely elastic and the load displacement curve would be linear, it is generally
not as the tip of the crack begins to yield. The value of the load, PQ, to be used to assess KIC is taken as
the point at which the curve crosses a line drawn with a gradient 95% of the initial tangent.
Sometimes there is a small amount of unstable crack growth prior to failure at a higher load, pop-in
behaviour. In this case or if the sample fails before a 5% deviation from linearity, the pop-in stress or
the ultimate stress prior to failure are used.



The provisional value of KIc, KQ can then be calculated from the equation:

KQ =

PQ
B W

f a / W


where f(a/W) is a dimensionless function of the specimen dimensions specific to the testpiece design.
These are all set out in the ASTM standard E399.

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26

As an example, for the most common compact specimen testpiece the equation is:

f a /W =



2+a /W

"
0.866 + 4.64 a / W 13.32 a / W
3/2 $
#
1 a / W

+14.72 a / W

4%
5.6 a / W '
&

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27

ELASTIC PLASTIC FRACTURE MECHANICS


The requirements for the minimum specimen test-piece size for LEFM to be valid are very stringent
for ductile materials. In fact the size of test-piece needed to produce a valid and representative value
of KIc are such that large amounts of material and huge machines are required for testing. More
importantly, the scale could well exceed the size of the component the results are to be applied to.
Under these circumstances we still need a measure of the fracture toughness of these materials in
order to predict and avoid possible failure. Two methods have been developed which enable small
scale testing to be applied to the failure of ductile materials. These are the Crack Opening
Displacement and the J Integral method.

CRACK TIP OPENING DISPLACEMENT



Back in 1961 Wells had been trying unsuccessfully to obtain reliable KIc measurements for ductile
steels, when he noticed that the crack tips showed considerable blunting which increased with the
toughness of the material. He proposed measuring the critical diameter of the crack tip and using this
directly as a measure of the toughness. We will see that for limited plastic zone size the crack tip
opening is related directly and simply to the LEFM energy release rate, but the really useful extension
of this to a much larger plastic zone size was at that point purely empirical. It has since been
demonstrated rigorously that the use of the CTOD is valid even for very extensive plasticity and the
method is now widely used to test and design components.

Additional crack opening as a result of plasticity at crack tip.



We saw earlier that the effect of a plastic zone at the crack tip is to extend the effective length of the
crack by ry ~ half the diameter of the plastic zone. Hence the opening of the crack at its real tip can
be approximated from the calculated elastic displacements of the virtual (extended) crack evaluated
at a point some ry from the virtual crack tip. See Figure above.


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The CTOD is given by double the displacement uyy in the tensile direction, for plane stress this is
given by the equation:

u=

2 o 2
a x2
E

1/ 2

1/ 2
2'
2 o $ 2
2
& a a r ) = o a2 a2 + 2ar r 2
u=
(
E %
E

ry =

let r = ry:

1 KI
2 ys

= 2u(ry ) =
=

( )

hence

ry =

! 1 K $
4 o
4K I
I &
2a ##
=
&
E
" 2 ys % E a

1/ 2

2 o
2ar
E

1/ 2

( )

KI
2 ys

2a K I
2 ys

4 KI2
4G
=
E ys ys

Again the Dugdale model gives a similar result:

G
m ys

where m = 1 for plane stress and 2 for plane strain.



Remember that this is all derived from the elastic solution surrounding a small plastic zone (page 10)
but it has since been demonstrated from plasticity theory that this is generally true even if the plastic
zone is extensive. The critical value of the CTOD thus gives a reliable measure of the fracture
toughness of the material. Clearly this will be a function of the specimen thickness but provided the
thickness of the test-piece is similar to the component the test result can be used.

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MEASURING CTOD

This is very difficult to measure directly and is usually inferred from the width of the crack opening V
of a three point bending specimen. It is assumed that the specimen behaves as a rigid hinge pivoting
about some point in the uncracked ligament of the specimen the displacement is then proportional
to V:

V
=

(W a) (W a) + a

where is a dimensionless constant between 0 and 1.

a
r(W-a)
(W-a)

P
CTOD measured from a three point bend specimen.


Painstaking experiments measuring the value of V and then by sectioning the crack established this
relationship. But beware - it depends on the specimen thickness and the width of the slot and the
length of the crack.


There are four values of recognised by the ASTM standards:

i the CTOD at the onset of stable ductile crack growth.
c the CTOD at the onset of unstable cleavage failure,
u the CTOD at the onset of unstable crack growth following extensive ductile stable crack
growth
m the CTOD at maximum load where the specimen does not break.


The first is hard to detect; the only clue in the load curve being a slight change in gradient. The next
two are identified by the failure of the sample and the last by a maximum in the load curve without
the failure of the sample.

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Vi

Vi

stable crack
growth +
plastic
collapse

stable crack
growth +
cleavage

cleavage

LOAD
P

Vm

Vu

Vc

30

Mouth Opening Displacement v Load curves.



J INTEGRALS

The J integral is the equivalent of the G for the elastic-plastic case. It is the rate of energy absorbed
per unit area as the crack grows; it is not however the energy release rate because the plastic energy
is not recoverable as it would be in the elastic case. The definition is:

J =

dU

dA


where U is the potential energy of the system and A the area of the crack.

P

d
P
Load

dP
a

dU
a + da

Displacement


Energy release rate for non-linear deformation.



An analogy with the Linear elastic case can be made; compare the Figure above with those on page
25. The stress strain curve is no longer linear, but the area under the curve represents the work done
in extending the cracked body (without extending the crack).

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Plotting two curves for specimens differing only in the length of the crack, a and a+a, the energy
required to grow the crack is the difference in the areas under the two graphs shaded in the Figures
on page 25. Since the area decreases as the crack grows dU/da is negative and J =-dU/da at unit
thickness. Although this is the same as the definition of the energy release rate we used earlier, the J
integral for the plastic case does not represent the energy released as the crack grows because much
of the energy used performs plastic deformation. This is fine so long as you are just loading the
specimen but becomes tricky if you try and reverse the stress.



The term J integral comes from the property of J which can be expressed and evaluated as a closed
line integral around the crack tip. J is the strain energy density within the line minus the surface
integral of the normal traction stress forces normal to the surface defined and is independent of the
path the integral takes.

Diagram showing the line integral around the crack tip J integral.



It can be evaluated experimentally by measuring the stress strain curves for a number of identical
specimens containing cracks of different lengths and plotting the area under the graph U for each
specimen as a function of the crack length and thus evaluating dU/dA and hence J. There are also
specific specimen geometries (deeply double notched and notched three point bending specimens)
that allow J to be measured from a single specimen.


These experiments allow J to be plotted as a function of the crack extension. Thus although J is
defined in similar terms to the energy release rate G, and indeed reduces to G for linear elastic
behavior, J for elastic-plastic materials is closer to R, the resistance to crack growth, in both
interpretation and form. The curve plotted against the crack growth from the original crack length
a, shows three distinct regions; an initial zone where the original crack blunts but does not grow and
the curve rises steeply, a secondary region initiating at JIc, where a new crack nucleates and grows
developing the elastic-plastic zone at the crack tip, until finally steady state crack tip conditions are
achieved and the crack propagates at a constant value of the J resistance JR.

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Crack
blunting

32

JR
Fracture
Initiation

C
a

Steady
state
crack
growth


Diagram indicating the J curve during crack growth.

The validity of this approach has limits, just as the LEFM has. These are reached, in general terms,
when the extent of plastic yielding becomes a large proportion of the remaining ligament length. At
this point a single parameter for crack growth is not sufficient and even more complicated analysis is
necessary.

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FRACTURE MORPHOLOGY

DUCTILE FAILURE:

Ductile failure in uni-axial specimen is characterised macroscopically by cup and cone failure, and on a
microscopic scale by the formation and coalescence of voids generally nucleated at second phase
particles. This occurs after the point of plastic instability has been reached when the rate of work
hardening can no longer compensate for the increase in the stress as the section decreases. Voids
nucleate and grow most rapidly in the centre of the sample where the state of triaxial stress exists.
These grow and coalesce to produce a circular internal crack which grows, and finally fails by shear in
the plane stress outer regions of the sample. Where void formation is difficult, (for example in pure
metals) much more ductility is observed and the sample can thin almost to a point before failure
occurs.


Diagram showing cup and cone failure in tensile specimen

Voids almost always nucleate at second-phase particles either by decohesion at the interface or by
fracture of the second phase or inclusion. A number of models have been developed which look at
the effect of dislocation pile-ups at second-phase precipitates formed during plastic flow as the
trigger to void nucleation but fail to predict the observation that voids appear to nucleate most
readily at larger particles. This is not entirely surprising because the largest precipitates are likely to
be those with the highest interface energy and thus the largest incentive to reduce surface to volume
ratio, and, in addition, are also those most likely to crack under extensive plastic flow in the
surrounding matrix. This latter process is the most likely to occur where large precipitates are present
and can be readily observed.

The 45 sides of the cone fail last as the central crack propagates outwards. In the absence of general
yielding across the full remaining section of the sample the progress of a crack by ductile means relies
upon the nucleation and growth of voids ahead of the crack tip. The stress ahead of the crack tip is
raised to about 4 times the stress at approximately two times the crack tip opening displacement or
CTOD from the tip. Voids form in this area of raised stress ahead of the crack tip.

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Once formed, the voids grow, becoming elliptical and undergoing extensive plastic flow at the sides.
The ligaments between the voids fail by shear on the plane of highest shear stress at 45 to the
tensile axis.

CLEAVAGE FRACTURE IN DUCTILE MATERIALS.



The cleavage fracture surface is characterised by a planar inter-granular crack which changes plane by
the formation of discrete steps. Facets correspond to the individual grains and in single crystals an
entire slip plane can consist of one facet.

Facetted brittle failure showing river lines.



The steps or river lines on the facets converge and eventually disappear in the direction of crack
growth. They are formed at a grain boundary where the cleavage plane in one grain is not parallel to
the plane in the adjacent grain; the difference being accommodated by a series of steps. These
gradually diminish as the crack propagates adopting the cleavage plane of the new grain before being
re-formed at the next grain boundary.

If a cleavage crack is to propagate across a grain boundary distinct new cracks must be nucleated
ahead of the interface before sufficient plasticity in the material is achieved to relieve those stresses.

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Polycrystalline Ni-Based
superalloy RR1000, Fatigue
failure at Room
temperature showing
transgranular cleavage











Ductile failure at high
temperature in IN 738
showing gross tearing.













AlMg Si alloy failed by
microvoid coalescence


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Conditions favoring brittle fracture are:

high yield stress,

reduced slip systems (HCP and BCC metals, low temperature),

high constraint (plane strain) and rapid deformation.


However, for metals, in particular for iron , it has been shown that the fracture stress follows the
value of yield stress measured in compression (even though in tension the material demonstrates
brittle failure). For small grains sizes yielding precedes failure, at larger grains sizes the two occur
together.

At the tip, the crack becomes blunted through plasticity and thus the potentially very high stresses
are reduced (see next section). As a result the stresses achieved ahead of the crack tip do not in
effect exceed 3-4 times the yield stress. This is way below the theoretical strength of most materials:

Hence the crack cannot simply propagate as it would in a brittle ceramic. (e.g. the wedging discussed
on page 5. There must be a crack or defect ahead of the crack to further raise the stress and
propagate the crack if cleavage is to occur.
Under conditions of plane strain i.e. constraint, the critical length for a crack from the Griffiths
criterion is:

acrit =

2E s

1 2 f2

= 0.3m


-2
-2
-2
where, for example in iron, f = 1GNm and E = 200GNm , and s = 2Jm .

Hence some plasticity at the crack tip is necessary to form cracks of roughly this size in order to
propagate the crack further. A number of mechanisms by which micro-cracks can form have been
proposed and are illustrated on the next page.

The micro-crack is limited to a single grain due to the difficulty in propagating across the boundary.
Hence the stress intensity ahead of a micro-crack is limited by the (grain size), this limits the stress to
nucleate further cracks and propagate the failure. This results in a Hall-Petch type relationship
between the failure stress and the grain size:
1

'
*2
E gb ,
)

f
) #1 2 % d ,
& +
($
where gb is the plastic work to propagate across the grain boundary and generally exceeds the usual
p term.

There are other mechanisms by which grain refinement to affect the fracture stress; in mild steels the
cleavage fracture is controlled by the fracture of grain boundary carbides, and an increase in the
overall grain boundary area with smaller grain size leads to smaller carbides and thus a higher fracture
stress. Grain size is hence the one of the best strengthening mechanisms as it increases both strength
and ductility.


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38


At the nano-micro scale:

Fracture of very small components is crucial to the development of small devices and it is here that
much interest in fracture is currently focused. Here plasticity is also crucial, particularly in materials
with limited dislocation mobility (Si, Ge, Fe, Cr, Al2O3, and inter-metallics) essentially everything
other than fcc metals. All these materials display very brittle behaviour at low temperatures and a
transition to a more ductile behaviour as temperature rises.

Rice introduced the concept that brittleness was determined by the competition at the crack tip
between the generation of dislocations in the very high stress field at the crack tip and cleavage. His
paper of 1974 explains the issue very lucidly (skip the mathematics in the middle) J.R. Rice and R
Thomson, Phil Mag 29, 1, p73, (1974), with a more modern interpretation given by J.R. Rice, Journal
of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, V.40, Iss.2 p.239-271 (1992).

This is demonstrated by a series of experiments performed by Prof Steve Roberts on pure iron single
crystals. (Acta. Mat. 56 (2008) 5123)

4Pt bending with pre-cracked single crystals of specific orientation (2 slip planes at 45 to the
crack tip)

Strain rate varied from 4 x 10 to 4 x 10 s

KIc calculated from failure stress and geometrical factors

DBT indentified from examination of the fracture surface and evidence of slip bands

Plotting 1/TDBT against strain rate shows an Arhenius relationship

Activation energy correlates very well with that for dislocation movement

-3

-5 -1

The DBT decreases from 130K at the lowest strain rate to 154K at the highest.
The observed behaviour can be modeled very accurately by dislocation dynamics. This means
calculating the distribution and movement of dislocations during the test from their initial positions,
the complete stress field and an exponential equation for dislocation velocity.
Essentially the DBT occurs when the shielding effect of the dislocations on the two slip planes (i.e.
the elastic stress fields from those generated) reduces the stress at the crack tip sufficiently rapidly to
prevent the stress at the tip reaching the cleavage stress.

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FATIGUE


Fatigue is damage (leading to failure) caused by oscillating stress below the fracture stress. 90% of all
mechanical failures can be attributed to fatigue. Paradoxically, although the stress is below the yield
stress, fatigue is essentially concerned with the generation of defects by plastic flow and the
movement of dislocations.

Stress

max
a

m
0

m
Time

min


The diagram above defines some of the variables used to describe a fatigue test run under stress
control: the stress range , stress amplitude a, mean stress m. the load ratio R = min/max .

Similar definitions apply to tests where the strain on the sample is controlled and the maximum stress
may vary through the test.

Real fatigue situations cover a baffling range of variables; examples include high frequency
mechanical fatigue for example in a crankshaft, to low frequency pounding of a north-sea oil rig
structure in a highly corrosive environment, to thermal fatigue caused by the periodic heating and
cooling in the turbine of a transatlantic jet engine. We need to understand fatigue so that we are able
to:

i)
predict the engineering life of these components,
ii)
design structures and materials which maximise economic life.

Factors affecting fatigue which we will consider in varying degrees of detail are:

Mean stress m (or Strain); also expressed as Load Ratio: R = min/max
Stress amplitude (or strain amplitude)
Frequency
Waveform
Temperature
Temperature variation
Environment corrosion and oxidation
Surface finish
Coatings
Microstructure

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Test procedures have been developed which address these variables and by the use of a number of
mostly empirical laws these are able to provide some degree of predictability in most situations.
Fatigue conditions fall into a number of regimes:

High Cycle Fatigue HCF: Low amplitude stresses induce primarily elastic strains which results in long
life, i.e. endurance in excess of 10,000cycles

Low Cycle Fatigue LCF: Significant plastic deformation during cyclic loading results in an endurance
limit below 10,000 cycles and behavior dominated by plastic deformation.

Thermo-mechanical Fatigue TMF: varying both stress and temperature to give strain cycles in phase,
out of phase (and all things in between) with the temperature cycle.

APPROACHES TO FATIGUE

We can break Fatigue in ductile materials into several stages:

1. Initial micro-structural changes leading to the nucleation of permanent damage
2.

Nucleation of the first micro-cracks

3.

Growth and coalescence of these flaws to produce a dominant crack.

4.

Stable propagation of the dominant crack.

5.

Failure


Macroscopically there are ambiguities in defining the initiation and growth stages of cracks
depending on the resolution of the techniques being used to investigate. Generally stages 1-3
constitute crack initiation and stages 4-5 crack growth.

Depending on the conditions, these stages occupy widely differing fractions of the sample life and
thus require different strategies to determine life. The method adopted also depends on the
consequences of failure.

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TOTAL-LIFE OR SAFE-LIFE:

This strategy is to predict the total life and retire the component at a fixed proportion of this, to
include a considerable margin for error. The aim is to retire the component before a crack forms and
it is used where fatigue failure would result in component failure and/or where crack detection is
difficult or expensive. Total-life can be wasteful as much useful life remains unused where the scatter
in the data is large.

This approach focuses on predicting the number of cycles to failure, N for an initially un-cracked
specimen. This is most appropriate where the initiation of the dominant crack occupies the majority
of the total life (as much as 90%). For HCF where the stress range is low and the stresses principally
elastic, the stress range is used to characterise the component and produce a reference S-N curve.
For higher stresses resulting in LCF plastic strain is extensive and the strain range is typically (but not
always) used.

DAMAGETOLERANT OR FAIL-SAFE:

This approach recognises that all structures contain defects and that these grow at stable and
predictable rates. The strategy involves periodic inspection of the structure and repairs or replaces
components as cracks are found. This is generally used where failure would not result in component
failure due to structural redundancy. A greater proportion of the useful life is used and the risk of
wrong assumptions in the predictive process are dimished.

Thus if the maximum size of the initial defects in the structure is known (amax) the interval between
inspections is determined by the time predicted for this crack to achieve critical size (t1). The
component may survive several iterations (two in the case below) before being replaced.




Following the development of fracture mechanics for monotonic deformation Paris recognised in the
1960s that the same concepts of stress intensity could be applied to fatigue to estimate the fatigue
crack growth rate and thus predict the time taken for the crack to reach an unstable size.


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42

log(da/dN)

PARIS LAW

If the rate of crack growth is measured and plotted against the K on a log-log plot the curve takes
the general sigmoidal form shown below.



I: Crack initiation, crack at
Fracture
45 following slip planes

II: Crack propagates at
I
II
III
90 to tensile axis,
m
striations formed

III: Final rupture



KIc



log K



There are three distinct regions, an initial stage usually showing a threshold value for K, a 2nd stage
where the crack growth rate shows a power law dependence on K only; and a final stage where the
crack growth rate approaches infinity as the K reaches KIc. The central region is the most useful as
it allows the CGR for the major part of the life to be predicted from a knowledge of the conditions at
the crack tip. This equation is known as the Paris Equation.

da
= CK m
dN


where m 4 but can vary from 2-7 for various materials.

This implies that da/dN does not depend on the value of R. This is not strictly the case particularly for
low values of R where the crack closes during the cycle (see p59).

Note: Minors Law follows directly from the Paris Law see question sheet 2

LEAK BEFORE BREAK:



A special case of the fail-safe approach widely used for pressurised vessels and pipework. The
thickness and properties of the vessel are arranged so that a through-thickness crack does not
propagate catastrophically. This means that the crack will be below the critical size for the working
stress on the vessel and hence will leak before fast fracture. Such a leak can be detected and repaired
without the severe consequences of the rupture of the vessel.

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TOTAL LIFE APPROACH



If we perform a series of tests at varying stress ranges and plot the number of cycles to failure the life
increases as the stress range decreases. Some materials (typically low alloy steels and Titanium
alloys) show an asymptote to a fatigue limit, otherwise (high alloy steels and aluminium), an
endurance limit is set. The absence of a fatigue limit is an indicator of an environmental contribution
to the fatigue.

Fatigue limit

ln N

107 Endurance limit

BASQUINS LAW
S-N curve

The curve can be approximated by an empirical expression due to Basquin:

= a = f" (Nf ) Nf is the number of complete cycles to failure.


2

where f is the fatigue strength coefficient f the static fracture strength and b takes the value
0.05 to 0.12 for metals. You may also see this expression written in terms of the number of stress
reversals i.e. 2Nf.

COFFIN MANSON LAW.

Under conditions of high plastic deformation we have low cycle fatigue conditions and for strain
controlled tests, Coffin and Manson independently noted an empirical relation very similar to
Basquins law.

The total strain amplitude can be split into plastic and elastic components:

e p

=
+
2
2
2


where the plastic component is linear when plotted against the log (number of load reversals), 2Nf :

p
2

= f" (Nf )


Here f is the fatigue ductility component and roughly equal to the failure ductility in tension, and c
takes the value 0.5 to 0.7 for metals.

Adding in the Basquins law for the elastic (high cycle fatigue) component we have:
b
c
f"
= (Nf ) + f" (Nf )
2 E

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Plotting log() against log (2Nf) gives two distinct regimes, at low strain and long life the gradient b
(-0.1) dominates, HCF conditions, and at high strain and short life the gradient is c (-0.5). The
transition is gradual but extrapolating the asymptotes allows a transition number of cycles, 2Nt, to be
identified.





Note: fatigue is inherently variable variation in life of 100% is not unusual for nominally the same test.
This is masked by the widespread use of log plots.

The intercepts of the two parts of the curve correspond roughly to:

1.
LCF: the total strain, plastic and elastic, at failure.
2.
HCF: the elastic component of the strain at failure



Lets put some figures in here:

Aluminium 7075

72 GPa

193 MPa

1.8

-0.106

-0.690

Steel 0.15%C

210 GPa

827 MPa

0.95

-0.110

-0.640



Aluminium:

0.106
0.69

193
=
Nf )
+ 1.8 (Nf )

(
2 72000

(HCF intercept 666 times less than the LCF intercept - note log scale)


Steel:

0.11
0.64

827
=
Nf )
+ 0.95 (Nf )

(
2 210000

(HCF intercept 240 times less than LCF)




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45

TOTAL LIFE APPROACH - COPING WITH FATIGUE VARIABLES



There is a huge number of variables in fatigue far to many to construct S/N curves for all
combinations even if they did not change during the lifetime of the component. The challenge is to
understand how the damage produced by fatigue varies with these parameters and adds together
over a complex life cycle.

The effect of increasing the mean stress is to decrease the fatigue life. Several relations exist to link
the stress range and the mean stress for a given life. The simplest are linear extrapolations indicating
that the sample will fail at the static yield stress in the absence of a stress range and at the fatigue
strain at zero mean strain.


a = a | m =0 1 m
y

Soderberg: original and most conservative


a = a | m =0 1 m
TS

Goodman relation: good for Brittle materials

conservative for metals



(Other expressions exist giving non-linear extrapolations

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GOODMAN DIAGRAM

The effect of mean stress and R value can be expressed on a Goodman diagram shown below:

max

min

MEAN STRESS: THE ROLE OF RESIDUAL STRESS



Stresses formed internally in a material, for example during quenching or by Shot peening can have a
profound influence on the fatigue life both positive and negative. Effectively this sets up a mean
stress varying throughout the microstructure which can extend the life when compressive and
shorten it when tensile. For example; bombarding the surface with ball bearings ia widely used to
extend fatigue life by setting up compressive stresses in the surface layers. Conversely, tensile
stresses deep within a quenched component can lead to accelerated fatigue crack growth and
premature failure. Hence a great deal of effort and resources are devoted to measuring residual
stress and relieving it where necessary.

Residual stress can be measured by the following methods

X-ray diffraction usually using high intensity synchrotron sources to reach the thick sections as this
has to be done in-situ. The stress can be measured directly from the change in the lattice parameter
from the elastic strain.

Hole drilling by drilling holes the distortion in the vicinity can be measured as the stress relaxes by
the use of strain gauges or direct measurement.

Modeling: increasingly accurate models of the elastic and plastic deformation occurring during
processing allow us to estimate residual stress.

TEMPERATURE

Temperature has environmental effects on fatigue developed later. It is possible to adjust for the
simple effect on yield stress where the nature of fatigue does not change by normalizing the applied
stress with the yield stress. Plotting against /y often collapses datasets to the same curve.

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47

COPING WITH VARIABLE STRESS - MINERS LAW:



In real situations components very rarely experience constant regular damage. The level of stress or
strain can vary throughout life and the simplest way of dealing with this is by the use of Miners law.
This proposes that the life of a component experiencing fatigue at various stress amplitudes can be
assessed by expressing the number of cycles at each amplitude as a proportion of total life and
summing the fractions. When the fraction reaches 1, the fatigue life is exhausted. The order of
exposure is not taken into account.

time


m

ni

N
i=1

= 1

Miners Law

fi




This is useful as a first approximation but has serious shortcomings; the most importantis that no
account can be taken of the impact of prior damage on the later exposure at a different stress (or
strain) amplitude. In particular the balance between crack initiation and crack growth can vary
considerably with stress, thus brief exposure to high amplitude may nucleate damage which at a
lower stress would not occur until a much later stage and thus accelerate the damage rate at a
subsequent lower stress. Conversely, early exposure to low stress amplitude may strain harden the
material and thus prolong life during later high amplitude exposure. This emphasizes the importance
of looking at the specific mechanisms of damage and how it accumulates in the material.

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DEVELPOMENT OF INTERNAL MICROSTRUCTURE DURING FATIGUE


t
t

For some situations the loading
c
onditions
a
re
c
ontrolled
b
y
t
he
a
mplitude
of the strain rather than
t
t
the stress. This is reflected in the tests which are done under strain control. These are also most likely
to be the conditions where plastic deformation forms a considerable proportion of the strain, LCF.

c
c

c
c
c < t
c < t

Where the strain is kept constant the stress can either increase (cyclic hardening) decrease (cyclic
softening) or stay the same.

Cyclic hardening




Typically materials harden if

Cyclic softening

UTS

> 1.4 and soften if UTS < 1.2


ys
ys




To understand why this occurs we need to consider dislocation microstructure of the material.

From the above materials where the initial state is highly work hardened the dislocation
density is high, the effect of the cyclic strain is to allow the rearrangement of the dislocations
into stable networks, reducing the stress at which the plastic component occurs, and thus
the effective stress.

Conversely where the initial dislocation density is low, (soft material) the cyclic strain
increases the dislocation density increasing the amount of elastic strain and the stress on the
material.

For a given alloy both hard and soft materials tend to a stable dislocation configuration. For example,
detailed work on the development of dislocation configurations in copper and shows that a stable
Labyrinth structure develops (see the figure on page 52 from Suresh, chapter 2)


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As the fatigue establishes a stable microstructure the hysteresis loop becomes stable at some point
during the test. When this stable loop is plotted as a function of increasing stress (or strain) the
locus of the maximum values from a series of tests defines a cyclic stress strain curve.

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50

BAUSCHINGER EFFECT

t
b

c
c

c
c < t

c < t


Strain control first cycle showing the Bauschinger effect.


During cyclic deformation the material can retain a memory of the initial plastic strain which reduces
the stress at which plastic yield occurs in the reverse cycle.

This effect can persist for many cycles and is known as the BAUSCHINGER EFFECT. This reversible but
plastic deformation can occur by dislocation pile-ups at, for example, incoherent or semi-coherent
precipitates exerting a back-stress which assists plastic yield in compression. This reduces the yield
stress in compression.

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THE EFFECT OF STACKING FAULT ENERGY:



The material response is closely linked to the stacking fault energy since this governs the ability of the
dislocation to cross-slip between planes and thus form stable cell structures.

High SFE easy cross-slip rapid formation of stable cell structure.



For high SFE materials the cell size is a decreasing function of the strain range and ultimately does not
depend on the starting microstructure. Very low SFE e.g. Cu 7.5% Al, materials do not form stable
cell structures, the highly dissociated dislocations being arranged in planar arrays where the spacing
depends on the initial state. The microstructures and lives are thus very sensitive to the prior
deformation state.

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CYCLIC SOFTENING OF PRECIPITATION HARDENED ALLOYS:



Another cause of cyclic softening of major importance is the cutting of coherent precipitates in
precipitation-hardened alloys. Small coherent precipitates provide very effective hardening in
aluminium alloys and in nickel based superalloys. The small size maximises the cutting/bowing stress
for dislocations in the matrix and the coherency enhances the stability of these small precipitates.
However when a dislocation does cut the precipitate the fault produced in the precipitates decreases
the stress for the following dislocation since the energy penalty of the fault no longer applies and
indeed may be negative. Thus slip is concentrated in narrow slip bands cutting the precipitates in
two. These smaller precipitates may dissolve in these areas leaving the un-strengthened matrix
vulnerable to high plastic deformation and early crack formation.

(a) OP (0.4)


Here cutting of precipitates early in this test (TMF of Nimonic 90) has caused the to dissolve leaving
precipitate free channels in the alloy. The precipitates are visible from the dislocations wrapped
around them

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53

CRACK MORPHOLOGY

The three regions can be identified from the morphology of the fracture surface.

I.
Initiation; crack initiates at intrusions and follows slip plane at approximately 45 to
principle stress direction. When the length is sufficient for the stress field at the tip to
become dominant the overall crack plane becomes perpendicular to the principle stress
and the crack enters stage II.

II.
Growth typically showing striations for each cycle and beach marks at points where
conditions changed. Striations may be obscured by closure damage or by oxide
formation at high temperatures.

III.
Final failure ductile or brittle rupture associated with fast fracture.

Crack
Stage II

Intrusions and
extrusions
Crack Stage I


Crack stage I growth at 45 to stress axis, following persistent slip bands, during stage II
turns to growth normal to stress axis.



Formation of striations by ductile flow during crack growth


WARNING: Crack morphologies can differ from this simple formula having more or fewer stages. Not
all fatigue failures show striations or a clear stage I. There may also be different morphologies as K
or the microstructure change.

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STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF FATIGUE CRACK INITIATION:



Here we look briefly at the effect of surface condition, the evolution of damage, and the effect of
coatings and surface treatments on the initiation and propagation of fatigue cracks.

INITIATION BY DEFORMATION

Fatigue failures can occur at stress of 1/3 the tensile yield stress, yet the nucleation of cracks requires
that there be local yielding. We thus need heterogeneous nucleation sites for cracks within the
structure.

Pre-existing defects such as inclusions, porosity, surface damage
Defects generated during cyclic straining for example at stress concentrations: persistent slip
bands, Fracture of carbides, oxidation of carbides.

In pure metals the major source of fatigue cracks is the persistent slip bands or PSBs: so called
because traces of the bands persist even after surface damage is polished away. The plastic strain in
the PSB is 100 times greater than that in the surrounding material and results from specific
arrangements of dislocations as parallel walls with relatively low dislocation density between. An
equilibrium is maintained between nucleation and annihilation of mobile edge dislocations bowing
out from the walls. Thus the cyclic strain is concentrated in these zones leading to their persistence.
Although the strain is reversed within the PSB the distribution is not even and this leads to the
formation of intrusions and extrusions where PSBs intersect the surface. These may act as nucleation
sites for cracks. The initial stages of crack growth therefore often follow the slip planes and lie at 45
to the tensile axis (see later).

Diagram showing the formation of intrusions and extrusions at a persistent slip band.

In the vast majority of cases fatigue initiates on the surface, however cracks can sometimes initiate
internally at defects cracked precipitates of internal porosity. The crack then grows under vacuum
until it reaches an external surface. This gives a characteristic circular area on the fracture surface.
Once the crack becomes a surface crack and air is admitted and the stress intensity increases and the
growth rate increases. This sometimes leads to immediate failure.

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EFFECTS OF OXIDATION AND CORROSION

The absence of a fatigue limit is normally and indication of material which is immune from corrosion
or oxidation effects otherwise the mere passage of time will eventually allow the initiation and
propagation of cracks even at very low stress.

At high temperatures oxidation at grain boundaries, Carbides or as in the single crystal above, in areas
where the composition varies slightly, results in crack initiation. The oxide layer cracks and the crack
propagates into the substrate thus allowing further oxidation.

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COATINGS AND SURFACE LAYERS



Coatings with different mechanical properties to the substrate can accelerate cracking by promoting
rapid initiation.



















TMF 300C 850C

CoNiCrAlY coating on IN738 Tested in



DESIGN AGAINST INITIATION

Where initiation occupies most of the life of the sample, initiation control, any measure which
reduces crack nucleation will extend life.

Surface damage, even scratches can act as stress concentrators and lead to local plastic deformation
and crack initiation. High cycle fatigue is very sensitive to surface finish and can be extended by
polished surface finish.

Corrosion protection to suppress the formation of cracks at interfaces by preferential attack

Treatments which induce a residual compressive stress in the surface layer will extend life by reducing
the mean stress at the surface and delaying the onset of cracking. Carburising, Nitriding, shot
peening.

Coatings have different stress and/or thermal response to the imposed stress may crack. The crack
can act as a stress concentrator and promote early cracking. Thermal barrier coatings accelerate HCF
failure.

Pores act as stress concentrators and a major source of fatigue cracks in single crystal superalloys:
remove by HIPING.

As with fracture plastic deformation in the matrix can cause cracking of carbides and the nucleation of
cracks.

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FACTORS EFFECTING CRACK GROWTH RATES


In predicting the life of a component we have to consider the possibility that the material is
subject to other degradation processes such as corrosion, oxidation or creep which affect
the crack growth. Damage usually accelerates crack growth, but can repair and mitigate the
effects of the other process.

Tests investigating these effects compare behaviour in vacuum with that in air or other
damaging environments. Alternatively, introducing a dwell time at maximum and or
minimum stress can change the crack growth rate. The higher the test frequency the smaller
the possible contribution from creep/corrosion will be and a strong dependence of life on
the frequency can indicate some other contribution. (This may also show up as a mismatch
between HCF and LCF data when plotted on the same graph as on page 47.)

CREEP


Creep can increase or decrease fatigue life: possible mechanisms of interaction are:
An increase in dislocation density due to fatigue can increase creep rate through
dislocation movement and /or enhanced diffusion.
Increasing dislocation density can also decrease primary creep (see earlier).
Cutting of grain boundary porosity increasing the growth rate of the pores
Blunting of crack tip by creep can reduce crack growth rate and hence fatigue
damage rate.


Graph of a constant strain fatigue test with a dwell at both the upper and lower temperatures. During
the dwell the specimen creeps to reduce the stress.

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OXIDATION:


Allvac 718Plus: Fatigue of this Ni-based alloy deformed with 3s cycle (3S) and same plus 100 s dwell
(3S+100) at 650C. Here the effects are due to oxidation at the crack tip. The two heat treatments A1
and A3 respond differently to the 3 s cycle but the dwell removes this difference.

ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS - WATER VAPOUR


At low temperatures water can have a profound effect on the crack growth rate. Hydrogen
embrittlement in steels is a good example. The electrochemical cell set up within the crack allows H
to enter the metal and diffuse ahead of the crack tip. The resulting hardening enhances crack growth.
The apparent activation energies for the crack growth rate match those for H diffusion.

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Al alloy fatigue tested in Argon and damp air the water vapour accelerates crack growth
above a threshold of ~ 2.0 Pa but the effect becomes saturated at 6.9 Pa. Studies analysing
the surface show a similar trend in the oxides formed at the newly exposed crack tips.


CRACK CLOSURE

The plastic deformation at the fracture surface, distortion or oxide growth during exposure can all act
to cause the crack faces to touch before the elastic deformations of the sample would predict. This
means that the stress intensity range is effectively reduced. Clearly this will have a greater effect the
closer the minimum stress intensity is to zero.

Kmax
Keff
Kop
Closure

Kmin
Time
Crack Closure: Effective stress range where crack does not fully close.


The Paris equation can be modified to use a reduced value of the stress intensity factor Keff.

da
m
= CK meff = C(UK )
dN

where

U=

K eff

K

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Mechanisms proposed to cause crack closure:

Plasticity

Stress induced transformation

Mode II displacement

Oxide debris

Using crack closure to adjust for R ratio:


The crack growth rate curves below have been measured at different R ratios this gives rise to
different amounts of crack closure. All the data can by condensed onto a single line by judicious use
of Keff. Usually suitable U values are fitted experimentally.

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ENERGY-BASED FATIGUE CRACK GROWTH



Fatigue has historically been framed in relation to the stress or the strain range, but
it could equally well be expressed as a function of the energy dissipated during a
fatigue cycle. This approach is particularly useful in non-crystalline materials such as
metallic glasses and biological materials where the deformation is not by
conventional dislocation mechanisms. However it works well in ductile metallic
systems also and could provide a more satisfactory framework for load ratio effects
than crack closure by focussing on the total energy dissipated per cycle rather than a
nominal reduction to the imposed stress or strain.

This was first suggested by J. R. Rice in The mechanics of crack tip deformation and
extension by fatigue, ASTM STP 415, 247-311, (1967).

One very accessible approach is explained by Klingbeil [Int. J. of Fatigue, 25 (2003)
117-128] who uses the total energy dissipated per cycle measured or calculated from
the stress strain hysteresis loop. He suggests that the crack growth rate is
proportional to this energy. The argument goes like this:

da dA dW
dW
Using the chain rule:
and assuming that:
=
= Gc gives:
dN dW dN
da




the value of dW/dN is calculated for the second of two load cycles to allow for
shakedown using FE modelling for the very simple elastic plastic model below.

dW
The modelling gives that
K 4 , in line with the Paris law.
dN

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We use the dimensionless energy loss per cycle dW*/dN to include the constant of
proportionality:

" 2E % dW
dW


* = $$ y 4 ''
dN
# K & dN

Real fatigue crack growth data from a variety of alloys and load ratios is plotted using
normalised axes for da/dN* and K* as follows:
2
'
*
da
da )! K Ic $ dW ,
#
&

*=
/
* and K * = K / K Ic
dN
dN )#" y &% dN ,
(
+
2

"K %
4 dW
da
E (K *)4 (K Ic )4 dW
$$ Ic '' ( K *)
= 2
*
=
*
2
dN K Ic
yE
dN
dN
#y &

4 dW
da
* = ( K *)
*
dN
dN


The figure below shows that by plotting log10(da/dN)* against log10K* the data for
Ti-64, Al 7475, Stainless steel (15-5PH H1025) and a Nickel alloy (Inconel 718)
collapses pretty much onto a line of slope 4 passing through (1,1) vindicating the
basic assumption. Given the simplicity of the plastic model this is very impressive
and emphasises that fracture and fatigue are driven by the same microstructural
factors. It does a better job relating the alloys than resolving the load ratio effects.

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QUESTION SHEETS

QUESTION SHEET 1 (Lectures 1 - 5)


1. (a)
The singular terms in the equation for the elastic stress field around the tip of a
sharp crack under Mode I loading in plane stress are:
% (+
% ( % 3 (.
cos& )-1+ sin & ) sin & )0
' 2 *,
' 2 * ' 2 */
2r
% (,
% ( % 3 (/
a
22 = o
cos& ).1 sin & ) sin & )1
' 2 *' 2 * ' 2 *0
2r
& ) & ) & 3 )
a
12 = o
sin ' * cos' * cos' *
(2+ (2+ ( 2 +
2r
11 =

1
3
2

o a

where the crack lies in the x2 direction along the x2x3 plane. Convince yourself
(r, q) the shear stress 12 is finite, where is the shear
that at a general position
stress zero?
Assuming a state of plane stress, i.e. 3 = 0, find the expressions for the principal
stresses 1 and 2, i.e. the maximum values of the normal stresses when the shear
stresses are zero. This can be done by diagonalising the stress tensor or more
simply by using Mohrs circle, ( is the angle between the direction vector and
the y axis 2).
For conditions of plane strain write down an estimate for the out-of-plane
principal stress 3 (3 = [1 + 2]) and thus demonstrate that it is non-zero.
Hence demonstrate that the hydrostatic component of the stress tensor is larger in
plane strain that in plane stress.
(b) Using the result from (a) for the principal stresses combine these using the
Tresca yield criteria (max min) = y. Hence plot out the shapes and relative
sizes of the plastic zone in the x1x2 plane under conditions of (i) plane stress and,
(if time and patience allow) (ii) plane strain, for a non-work-hardening material.
On which planes does the plastic deformation occur in the two cases?
The Tresca yield criterion looks at the maximum difference between the principal
stresses and assumes that yield occurs when this reaches the tensile yield stress.
Take Poissons ratio as 0.3. For a reminder on the use of Mohrs circle try the
DoITPoMS site:
http://www.doitpoms.ac.uk/tlplib/metal-forming-1/index.php

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QUESTION SHEETS

2. A directionally solidified inter-metallic has a grain structure which can be


modelled as a series of hexagonal prisms separated by high angle grain
boundaries. The material has limited ductility and fails in a brittle manner. By
considering the value of G, the energy release rate and R, the energy of fracture,
evaluate whether the intermetallic will fail in an inter-granular of a trans-granular
manner for the two different orientations of the grain structure below loaded in
pure mode I opening.
You can assume that the energy of fracture R is reduced by the grain boundary
energy for intergranular failure. The grain boundary energy is half the surface
energy of the material and equal for all the boundaries. The variation of the
energy release rate, G, as the fracture plane deviates from the plane normal to the
loading axis, is given by the graphs on page 16 of the handout.
Would there be any difference for propagation parallel to the grain axes?
Following your conclusions from the above, describe the fracture path you would
expect in a more realistic structure where the grains were not so regular.

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QUESTION SHEETS

3 a) A wedge driven into a pre-existing crack along the grain of piece of wood
opens up the crack and eventually causes the wood to split along the grain.
Sketch how the stored elastic energy varies as the wedge is driven in both before
and after the crack starts to grow. Plot U against x. Assume that the crack lies very
close and parallel to the straight edge of the wood and that all the strain is in the
thinner layer of wood.
The elastic energy stored, UE, in a cantilevered beam of depth d opened by a
Ed 3 h 2B
wedge of height h is given by: UE =
(B is the width into the page)
8a 3

b) Derive an expression for the energy release rate as the crack grows. Will the
crack grow in a stable or unstable manner as the wedge is driven in at a steady
rate?
It is found that the crack starts to grow when the wedge is on average 100 mm
from the crack tip, i.e. a = 100 mm. If the modulus of the wood along the grain is
10 GPa, d = 5 mm and h = 3 mm estimate the resistance to crack growth R of the
wood along the grain. Hence estimate the toughness.
c) A manufacturer of disposable chopsticks makes them from the same wood
leaving a small section of wood joining the pair for the user to break. He wants to
ensure that the two sticks will be easy to separate along the grain.

Show that the force required to pull the two sticks apart as shown in the diagram
# Ed 3R &1/ 2 B
is given by the expression Fmax = %
(
$ 43' a
If the length of the cut between the two sticks is 200 mm and the sticks are a
square section of 5 mm calculate the force.

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C15 FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

QUESTION SHEETS

4. a) A cylindrical pressure vessel of diameter 1 m is made from a steel of


toughness 70 MPa m1/2 and with a yield strength of 440 MPa. What is the
maximum possible thickness that the vessel can be made if it were to leak before
break?
The internal pressure is 10 MPa.
Design criteria specify a safety margin of 10% for the thickness what thickness
would you specify to ensure leak before break?
What is the maximum stress and does this exceed the yield stress?
b) The inside of the vessel is given a proprietary laser treatment to double the
hardness and improve the resistance to chemical attack. This coating reaches a
depth of 2 mm. Unfortunately it also decreases the toughness to 35 MPa m1/2.
What is the critical crack size in the laser treated material?
Describe what will happen to a crack propagating from the inside through the
hardened layer and into the untreated steel of the pressure vessel. Does the layer
affect the safety of the vessel? Consider the effects of the coating on both static
loading and fatigue.
Estimate the plastic zone size i) in the coating and ii) in the main body of the vessel
and explain the basis of your calculation.

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QUESTION SHEETS

QUESTION SHEET 2 (LECTURES 6 - 9)


1. In a thermal expansion joint a component is subjected to a large plastic strain
range and fails after 2000 cycles. If the plastic strain range is halved, by how
many cycles is the life of the component increased. Assume a Coffin Manson
exponent, c, of -0.5.
2. An aeroplane fuselage is subjected to fluctuating stresses of range (minimum to
maximum) 150 MNm-2, with a maximum tensile stress of 200 MNm-2. If
ultrasonic NDT techniques can only be guaranteed to detect internal defects
greater than 1 mm in total length, recommend appropriate periods for major
inspection of the fuselage. Clearly state any assumptions.
[The material has a fracture toughness of 32 MPam1/2 for this thickness of
fuselage. The growth of a fatigue crack of length a metres with respect to the
number of cycles, N, is given by the expression:
da
K 4
= 4.08 1011
0.7
dN
(1 R)

Where is given by ( Kmax - Kmin ) and is in MPam1/2.


The correction (1 - R)0.7 is an empirical expression for converting data obtained at
different Rvalues.]
3. In a structural steel the fatigue-crack growth per cycle da/dN, is given by:
da
= 1013 K 3 m/cycle
dN

Where is the alternating stress intensity in MPam1/2. The initial crack size
(half length) a = 2mm and the critical size at which failure occurs acrit = 10mm.
the expression between fixed limits show that the S-N curve is
By integrating
given by:
logN = -3log + 13.647
A component of this steel containing initial cracks of half length 2mm is
subjected to 5 105 cycles at an alternating tensile stress, , of 354 MNm-2 and
to 5 106 cycles at 164.3 MNm-2. Given a critical crack length of 10 mm show,
by integration of the crack growth rate or otherwise, that Miners law is satisfied
regardless of the order in which the fatigue cycles occur.
(You might like to try proving Minors law generally for any combination of
stresses)

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C15 FRACTURE AND FATIGUE

QUESTION SHEETS

As a general rule the fatigue tolerance of a material scales with the yield stress.
A new alloy Wondalloy is available for turbine disks with a higher yield stress
which will allow a maximum cyclic stress range of 1000 MPa , increased from
the value of 800 MPa for the existing alloy Mundalloy (for this application R =
0). The fatigue crack growth rates for both alloys is given by the equation:
da
= AK 4
dN
where the constant A = 2.5 x 10-14 for Mundalloy

The fracture toughness of both alloys is 100 MPa m1/2

i)

What is the constant A for Wondalloy if the fatigue performance is improved in


proportion to the yield stress; conditions of stress and the initial defect size
remaining the same?

ii)

If Wondalloy is to be used with an increased stress range but with the same
service interval of 5,000 cycles what are the implications for the detection of the
minimum flaw size? Use the value for A calculated above.

iii)

If the inspection technique used for defect detection in Wondalloy is the


same as that used for Mundalloy, what would be the maximum interval between
inspection services operating Wonderalloy at the higher stress rating?

iv)

As an interim measure it is decided to use Wondalloy assessing the defect size


with the same accuracy as Mundalloy. What would be the maximum stress range
that could be used?
Quantify your conclusions and state any assumptions you have made.