Research Article Open Access

Development of Efficient Finite Element Software of Crack Propagation Simulation using Adaptive Mesh Strategy

Abdulnaser M. Alshoaibi, A. K. Ariffin and M. N. Almaghrabi


The purpose of this study is on the determination of 2D crack paths and surfaces as well as on the evaluation of the stress intensity factors as a part of the damage tolerant assessment. Problem statement: The evaluation of SIFs and crack tip singular stresses for arbitrary fracture structure are a challenging problem, involving the calculation of the crack path and the crack propagation rates at each step especially under mixed mode loading. Approach: This study was provided a finite element code which produces results comparable to the current available commercial software. Throughout the simulation of crack propagation an automatic adaptive mesh was carried out in the vicinity of the crack front nodes and in the elements which represent the higher stresses distribution. The finite element mesh was generated using the advancing front method. The adaptive remising process carried out based on the posteriori stress error norm scheme to obtain an optimal mesh. The onset criterion of crack propagation was based on the stress intensity factors which provide as the most important parameter that must be accurately estimated. Facilitated by the singular elements, the displacement extrapolation technique is employed to calculate the stress intensity factor. Crack direction is predicted using the maximum circumferential stress theory. The fracture was modeled by the splitting node approach and the trajectory follows the successive linear extensions of each crack increment. The propagation process is driven by Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) approach with minimum user interaction. Results: In evaluating the accuracy of the estimated stress intensity factors and the crack path predictions, the results were compared with sets of experimental data, benchmark analytical solutions as well as numerical results of other researchers. Conclusion/Recommendations: The assessment indicated that the program was highly reliable to evaluate the stress intensity factors and successfully predicts the cracks trajectories. Based on the results, it was recommended to add further development in the software to simulate crack propagation in elastoplastic materials.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 6 No. 4, 2009, 661-666


Submitted On: 20 June 2008 Published On: 30 April 2009

How to Cite: Alshoaibi, A. M., Ariffin, A. K. & Almaghrabi, M. N. (2009). Development of Efficient Finite Element Software of Crack Propagation Simulation using Adaptive Mesh Strategy . American Journal of Applied Sciences, 6(4), 661-666.

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  • Finite element simulation
  • stress intensity factors
  • mixed mode fracture
  • adaptive mesh
  • crack propagation