A fracture condition incorporating the most unfavourable orientation of the crack

  • M. T. TodinovEmail author
  • S. Same


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.


Brittle 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical SciencesOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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