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On the Domain of Dominance of the Asymptotic Elastodynamic Crack-Tip Fields


Krishnaswamy, Sridhar (1989) On the Domain of Dominance of the Asymptotic Elastodynamic Crack-Tip Fields. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/cfz9-nk80.


A substantial part of the experimental data in dynamic fracture mechanics has been obtained under the assumption that the two-dimensional asymptotic elastodynamic stress-intensity factor field (the KdI-field) is dominant over at least the region around the crack-tip over which the experimental measurements are made. The validity of this assumption is investigated in this thesis both experimentally and through finite-element simulations of the experiments.

The experiments reported in this work were on 4340 steel, three-point bend specimens loaded dynamically using a drop-weight tower. The two cases of dynamically loaded stationary cracks and dynamically propagating cracks were considered. An optical configuration is proposed that leads to a bifocal high-speed camera capable of focusing on two different planes simultaneously. This was used in conjunction with the method of caustics to measure the apparent stress-intensity factor simultaneously from two different regions (initial-curves) around the crack-tip. If the initial-curves lie within the domain of dominance of the asymptotic field, the measured values of the dynamic stress-intensity factor must agree to within experimental error. By suitably adjusting the optical set-up, a range of initial-curves was scanned in an attempt to map the domain of dominance of the KdI-field.

The impact hammer and supports of the drop-weight loading device were instrumented in order to monitor the time dependent loads acting on the specimen. These loads were subsequently used as boundary tractions in dynamic two- and three-dimensional finite-element simulations of the experiments. The simulations were carried only up to the point of crack initiation. Comparison of the numerical simulations with the experimental results help in identifying the role of three-dimensionality and transient conditions on the measured stress-intensity factor values.

On the basis of both the experimental results as well as the numerical simulations, no sizeable annulus of dominance for the asymptotic elastodynamic field was found for the laboratory situation studied. It appears that the assumption of an underlying KdI-dominant (or two-dimensional) field might not hold to a level of accuracy that would warrant many of the conclusions made in the literature regarding the crack-initiation toughness values as well as the uniqueness of the dynamic fracture toughness - crack velocity relation or its specimen and acceleration dependence.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics; Materials Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Materials Science
Awards:Ernest E. Sechler Memorial Award in Aeronautics, 1989
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Rosakis, Ares J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Rosakis, Ares J. (chair)
  • Knowles, James K.
  • Wood, David Shotwell
  • Beck, James L.
  • Knauss, Wolfgang Gustav
Defense Date:30 September 1988
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-85-K-0599
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10292003-134326
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4299
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:30 Oct 2003
Last Modified:16 Aug 2021 22:51

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