A fracture condition incorporating the most unfavourable orientation of the crack
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A fracture condition incorporating the most unfavourable orientation of the crack has been derived to improve the safety of loaded brittle components with complex shape, whose loading results in a three-dimensional stress state. With a single calculation, an answer is provided to the important question whether a randomly oriented crack at a particular location in the stressed component will cause fracture. Brittle fracture is a dangerous failure mode and requires a conservative design calculation. The presented experimental results show that the locus of stress intensity factors which result in mixed-mode fracture is associated with significant uncertainty. Consequently, a new approach to design of safety–critical components has been proposed, based on a conservative safe zone, located away from the scatter band defining fracture states. A postprocessor based on the proposed fracture condition and conservative safe zone can be easily developed, for testing loaded safety–critical components with complex shape. For each finite element, only a single computation is made, which guarantees a high computational speed. This makes the proposed approach particularly useful for incorporation in a design optimisation loop.
KeywordsBrittle fracture Design criterion Mixed-mode Vulnerability
The authors thank Mr. M. Hartman and Dr. N. Vrellos for their help in conducting the experimental part of this research.
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