Abstract

Techniques in computational fracture mechanics were employed to optimize the performance of a fracture specimen for use in crack growth studies in a constant K environment. The finite element method was used to model the specimen. In the numerical calculations, the mode I stress intensity factors were obtained using a domain integral approach. The specimen was optimized by systematically changing its geometry and performing finite element calculations in an iterative fashion. The procedure was carried out until a variation in the mode I stress intensity factor of less than three percent within the desired range of crack propagation was achieved.

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