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Three-dimensional effects in nonlinear fracture explored with interferometry


Pfaff, Richard D. (1991) Three-dimensional effects in nonlinear fracture explored with interferometry. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/6jnw-kh62.


The prospects for understanding fracture mechanics in terms of a general material constitutive description are explored. The effort consists of three distinct components.

First, optical interferometry, in its various forms (Twyman-Green, diffraction moire, etc.), can potentially be used under a wide range of conditions to very accurately measure the displacement and strain fields associated with the deformation surrounding a cracktip. To broaden the range of fracture problems to which interferometry may be applied, certain of the necessary experimental improvements have been developed:

1. High speed camera designs capable of extremely high (> 10(9) frames/second) framing rates with large array sizes, (> 4000 x 4000 pixels per frame) so that the application of optical techniques to solid mechanics may be considered without limitation on the rate of deformation.

2. An accurate and adaptable device for dynamic loading of fracture specimens to high load levels utilizing electromagnetic (Lorentz force) loading with ultrahigh (> 2,000,000 Amp/cm(2)) current flux densities.

3. Implementation of high sensitivity (2 nm), large range (2 nm x 3,200,000) interferometry achieved with wide field array sizes of 50,000 x 50,000 and 8 bit gray scale (error restricted to 1 bit) for surface deformation measurements on fracture specimens.

Second, functional descriptions for certain aspects of the displacement fields associated with fracture specimens are developed. It is found that the fully three-dimensional crack tip field surrounding a through-thickness crack in a plate of elastic-plastic material shows a hierarchical structure of organization and that the primary aspects of the deformation field would seem to have a relatively simple form of expression if the deformation is viewed in a properly normalized form.

Third, a comparison is made between interferometrically measured surface displacements for a notched 3-point-bend speciemn of a ductile heat treatment of 4340 steel and a numerical simulation of the specimen based on a material constitutive description determined from uniaxial tests performed on the same material. The small but finite notch tip radius (0.15 mm) fabricated by a wire-cutting electrical discharge machine allows one to explore the limits of applicability of standard continuum plasticity theories without involving a process zone model for the very near tip region extent in a cracked specimen geometry.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav
Thesis Committee:
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav (chair)
  • Rosakis, Ares J.
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami
Defense Date:25 February 1991
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07102007-104514
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2848
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:24 Jul 2007
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:30

Thesis Files

PDF (Pfaff_rd_1991.pdf) - Final Version
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