Crack Propagation and Arrest in Pressurized Containers

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Erdogan, F. Delale, J. A. Owczarek

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 99(1), 90-99 (Feb 01, 1977) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3454524 History: Received May 17, 1976; Online October 25, 2010


The problem of crack propagation and arrest in a finite volume cylindrical container filled with pressurized gas is considered. It is assumed that the cylinder contains a symmetrically located longitudinal part-through crack with a relatively small net ligament. The net ligament suddenly ruptures initiating the process of fracture propagation and depressurization in the cylinder. Thus the problem is a coupled gas dynamics and solid mechanics problem the exact formulation of which does not seem to be possible. It is formulated by making two major assumptions, namely that the shell problem is quasi-static and the gas dynamics problem is one-dimensional. The problem is reduced to a proper initial value problem by introducing a dynamic fracture criterion which relates the crack acceleration to the difference between a load factor and the corresponding strength parameter. The main results are demonstrated by considering two examples, an aluminum cylinder which may behave in a quasi-brittle manner, and a steel cylinder which undergoes ductile fracture. The results indicate that generally in gas-filled cylinders fracture arrest is not possible unless the material behaves in a ductile manner and the container is relatively long.

Copyright © 1977 by ASME
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