Experimental observations and numerical predictions of three-dimensional fatigue crack propagation

W. T. Riddell, A. R. Ingraffea, P. A. Wawrzynek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Experimental observations of three-dimensional fatigue crack growth are compared to numerical predictions from three computer codes. For simple geometries contained in standard libraries of some codes, restricting numerically predicted crack shapes to elliptical quadrants does not adversely affect crack growth rate predictions. However, this approach is limited by the availability of pre-existing solutions. Furthermore, elliptical quadrants are not always representative of true crack shape. More general modeling capabilities allow accurate geometric representation of both the base specimen and the crack front shape for a wide range of configurations. This capability allows reasonable and/or conservative fatigue crack growth predictions for many cases not handled by geometric libraries. However, the more general modeling capability does not lead to improved fatigue life predictions for simple geometries. Further research is necessary to improve fatigue life prediction capabilities for complex geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-310
Number of pages18
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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