One of the basic mechanisms for fatigue crack growth in ductile metals is that depending on crack-tip blunting under tensile loads and re-sharpening of the crack-tip during unloading. In a standard numerical analysis accounting for finite strains it is not possible to follow this process during many cycles, as severe mesh distortion at the crack-tip results from the huge geometry changes developing during the cyclic plastic straining. In the present numerical studies, based on an elastic-perfectly plastic material model, crack growth computations are continued up to 200 full cycles by using remeshing at several stages of the plastic deformation. Three different values of the load ratio R = K-min/K-max are considered. It is shown that the crack-up opening displacement, CTOD, typically undergoes a transient behaviour, with no crack closure during many cycles, before a steady-state cycling with crack closure at the tip starts to gradually develop. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2004, Vol 52, Issue 9, p. 2149-2166
Fatigue; Plasticity; Crack growth; Large strains; Remeshing