A Caltech Library Service

Comparison of experimental and computational crack-tip deformations using Moire interferometry and finite elements


Schultheisz, Carl R. (1991) Comparison of experimental and computational crack-tip deformations using Moire interferometry and finite elements. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/etqv-z784.


The large plastic deformations at the tip of a crack in a ductile heat treatment of 4340 steel are studied experimentally and numerically to investigate the details of the deformation in a tough material. The specimen is loaded in a three-point-bend arrangement. The finite-element model of the experiment uses a small-strain, incremental plasticity law, with a power-law hardening behavior. Both the in-plane and out-of-plane deformations were measured on the same specimen at the same time.

The experimental technique of moire interferometry is used to measure the in-plane displacements. This technique is described in detail, including an analysis of the effect of out-of-plane rotations on the use of the technique. A four-beam interferometer for measuring orthogonal displacement components is described, and its performance analyzed.

The three-dimensional, finite-element model has 11913 degrees of freedom, and provides data for comparison with the experiment between 4000 N (linear behavior) up to 73.5 kN (continuous fracture of the steel specimen). The model material properties are determined from a uniaxial test on specimens taken from the same bar as the fracture specimens and with identical heat treatment. This model characterizes the crack as a rounded notch to match the notch in the steel fracture specimen. The effects of tunneling of the crack are introduced through the release of nodes along the crack plane corresponding to measured crack profiles.

Results indicate that the numerical model matches the experiment quite well up to a load of 52.3 kN; mismatch at higher loads may be caused by a lack of finite-strain formulation in the code. The finite notch tip negates the singularity in either the stress or strain fields; the HRR field seems to have no region of dominance. However, the function of the J-integral appropriate to the HRR field does normalize the stresses and strains well, indicating that the J-integral is still a good fracture criterion. The effects of the added tunnel indicate that failure of the material depends on both the plastic strain and the hydrostatic stress.

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:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:14 March 1991
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07122007-132245
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2862
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:31 Jul 2007
Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 22:31

Thesis Files

PDF (Schultheisz_cr_1991.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page