Applications of Energy Release Rate Techniques to Part-Through Cracks in Experimental Pressure Vessels

[+] Author and Article Information
B. R. Bass

Computer Sciences, Union Carbide Corporation-Nuclear Division, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37830

R. H. Bryan, J. W. Bryson, J. G. Merkle

Heavy Section Steel Technology Program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37830

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 104(4), 308-316 (Nov 01, 1982) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3264222 History: Received August 23, 1982; Online November 05, 2009


In nonlinear applications of computational fracture mechanics, energy release rate techniques are used increasingly for computing stress intensity parameters of crack configurations. Recently, deLorenzi used the virtual-crack-extension method to derive an analytical expression for the energy release rate that is better suited for three-dimensional calculations than the well-known J -integral. Certain studies of fracture phenomena, such as pressurized-thermal-shock of cracked structures, require that crack tip parameters be determined for combined thermal and mechanical loads. A method is proposed here that modifies the isothermal formulation of deLorenzi to account for thermal strains in cracked bodies. This combined thermo-mechanical formulation of the energy release rate is valid for general fracture, including nonplanar fracture, and applies to thermo-elastic as well as deformation plasticity material models. Two applications of the technique are described here. In the first, semi-elliptical surface cracks in an experimental test vessel are analyzed under elastic-plastic conditions using the finite element method. The second application is a thick-walled test vessel subjected to combined pressure and thermal shock loading.

Copyright © 1982 by ASME
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