• Sarmed Salih

Student thesis: Phd


Despite the phenomena of fracture and fatigue having been the focus of academic research for more than 150 years, it remains in effect an empirical science lacking a complete and comprehensive set of predictive solutions. In this regard, the focus of the research in this thesis is on the development of new cohesive-zone models for fracture and fatigue that are afforded an ability to capture strain-rate effects. For the case of monotonic fracture in ductile material, different combinations of material response are examined with rate effects appearing either in the bulk material or localised to the cohesive-zone or in both. The development of a new rate-dependent CZM required first an analysis of two existing methods for incorporating rate dependency, i.e.either via a temporal critical stress or a temporal critical separation. The analysis revealed unrealistic crack behaviour at high loading rates. The new rate-dependent cohesive model introduced in the thesis couples the temporal responses of critical stress and critical separation and is shown to provide a stable and realistic solution to dynamic fracture. For the case of fatigue, a new frequency-dependent cohesive-zone model (FDCZM) has been developed for the simulation of both high and low-cycle fatigue-crack growth in elasto-plastic material. The developed model provides an alternative approach that delivers the accuracy of the loading-unloading hysteresis damage model along with the computational efficiency of the equally well-established envelope load-damage model by incorporating a fast-track feature. With the fast-track procedure, a particular damage state for one loading cycle is “frozen in” over a predefined number of cycles. Stress and strain states are subsequently updated followed by an update on the damage state in the representative loading cycle which again is “frozen in” and applied over the same number of cycles. The process is repeated up to failure. The technique is shown to be highly efficient in terms of time and cost and is particularly effective when a large number of frozen cycles can be applied without significant loss of accuracy. To demonstrate the practical worth of the approach, the effect that the frequency has on fatigue crack growth in austenitic stainless-steel 304 is analysed. It is found that the crack growth rate (𝑑𝑎𝑑𝑁⁄) decreases with increasing frequency up to a frequency of 5 Hz after which it levels off. The behaviour, which can be linked to martensitic phase transformation, is shown to be accurately captured by the new FDCZM.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKeith Davey (Supervisor) & Zhenmin Zou (Supervisor)


  • Fatigue crack growth modelling
  • computational efficiency
  • UMAT subroutine
  • frequency dependence
  • Dynamic loading
  • Cohesive zone model
  • Rate dependency
  • Traction-separation law

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