Mixed-mode crack growth in ductile thin-sheet materials under combined in-plane and out-of-plane loading

  • J.-H. Yan
  • M. A. Sutton
  • X. Deng
  • Z. Wei
  • Pablo Zavattieri
Original Paper


Ductile thin-sheet structures, such as fuselage skin or automobile panels, are widely used in engineering applications. These structures often-times are subjected to mixed mode (I/II/III) loading, with stable crack growth observed prior to final fracture. To characterize specific specimen deformations during stable tearing, a series of mixed-mode I/III stable tearing experiments with highly ductile thin-sheet aluminum alloy and steel specimens have been measured by using three-dimensional digital image correlation (3D-DIC). Measurements include (a) specimen’s deformed shape and 3D full-field surface displacement fields, (b) load-crack extension response and (c) crack path during stable tearing, (d) angular and radial distributions of strains and (e) the mixed mode crack-opening displacement (COD, measured at 1-mm from crack tip along crack surface) variation as a function of crack extension. Results indicate that for both aluminum alloy and steel at all mixed-mode I/III loading conditions (Φ = 30°, 60° and 90°), the crack tip fields have almost identical angular and radial polar strain distributions. The mixed mode I/III fields were different from those observed for the nominal Mode I loading case (Φ = 0°). The effect of the Mode III loading component is that it lowers the magnitude of the dominant strain component εθθ ahead of the growing crack tip and increases the singularity of the strain as compared with that in the mode I case. In addition, measurements indicate that the average mixed mode I/III stable COD for AL6061-T6 (GM6208 steel) is 4×(3×) greater than the average Mode I stable COD.


Mixed mode I/III fracture Ductile materials Thin sheet Digital image correlation Crack tip fields Growing crack Strain field COD CTOD 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-H. Yan
    • 1
  • M. A. Sutton
    • 1
  • X. Deng
    • 1
  • Z. Wei
    • 1
  • Pablo Zavattieri
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.GM Research and Development CenterWarrenUSA

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