ICSID 2018

Dubrovnik, Croatia, October 2 – 5, 2018

Finite element application in fracture mechanics

Meinhard Kuna, Institute of Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany

Nowadays, the finite element method (FEM) has been established as a powerful tool for fracture-mechanical stress analysis of complex crack configurations under static and cyclic loading. However, the treatment of crack issues requires particular theoretical precognition and special numerical algorithms, which are usually not part of engineer’s education and reserved for computational specialists only. Although commercial FEM software packages are available offering also fracture-mechanical options, their usage requires some understanding and must be treated with care.

The intention of the lecture is to give an overview about well established finite element techniques to determine relevant fracture parameters like stress intensity factors, energy release rate, J-integral and crack tip opening displacements CTOD.

The three hours lecture comprises:

  1. Introduction to FEM and techniques for linear-elastic fracture mechanics
  2. FEM-techniques for elastic-plastic fracture mechanics
  3. FEM-simulation of fatigue crack growth

For all three topics, clear example problems are presented. The advantages and disadvantages of the various techniques are discussed and recommendations are given for practical application. The lecture is aimed both at scientists from academia, dealing with FEM in basic fracture research, and at engineers in practice, who want to apply FEM for structural integrity assessments. A minimum of knowledge and experience with FEM is required.