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Curved crack propagation in homogeneous and graded materials

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Deflection and deviation of cracks commonly occurs because of asymmetry in crack-tip stresses in both homogeneous materials and functionally graded materials (FGMs); yet the analysis of curved cracks has been limited to simple crack shapes, otherwise the analysis would involve extensive levels of computation. The present study investigates the approximation of curved cracks with simplified shapes. A simple analytical model justifying the use of crack-shape approximations, developed in an earlier study on stationary curved cracks in homogeneous materials, is outlined. Then, the approach is applied to propagating cracks in both homogeneous and graded material structures. Results are presented from finite element (FE) simulations of crack propagation using exact and simplified crack shapes. The use of an approximated crack shape can provide basic estimates for crack propagation path and critical load. However, systematic divergence can occur between predictions for exact and approximated crack shapes, particularly in inhomogeneous material configurations, and so the development of solutions for non-straight cracks in FGMs would be expedient.
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Keywords: crack deflection; energy release rate; finite element; functionally graded material; mode-mixity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia

Publication date: 01 November 2005

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