Determination of the Fracture Parameters in a Stiffened Composite Panel, National Aeronautics and Space Administr, 9781288915255


A modified J-integral, namely the equivalent domain integral, is derived for a three-dimensional anisotropic cracked solid to evaluate the stress intensity factor along the crack front using the finite element method. Based on the equivalent domain integral method with auxiliary fields, an interaction integral is also derived to extract the second fracture parameter, the T-stress, from the finite element results. The auxiliary fields are the two-dimensional plane strain solutions of monoclinic materials with the plane of symmetry at x(sub 3) = 0 under point loads applied at the crack tip. These solutions are expressed in a compact form based on the Stroh formalism. Both integrals can be implemented into a single numerical procedure to determine the distributions of stress intensity factor and T-stress components, T11, T13, and thus T33, along a three-dimensional crack front. The effects of plate thickness and crack length on the variation of the stress intensity factor and T-stresses through the thickness are investigated in detail for through-thickness center-cracked plates (isotropic and orthotropic) and orthotropic stiffened panels under pure mode-I loading conditions. For all the cases studied, T11 remains negative. For plates with the same dimensions, a larger size of crack yields larger magnitude of the normalized stress intensity factor and normalized T-stresses. The results in orthotropic stiffened panels exhibit an opposite trend in general. As expected, for the thicker panels, the fracture parameters evaluated through the thickness, except the region near the free surfaces, approach two-dimensional plane strain solutions. In summary, the numerical methods presented in this research demonstrate their high computational effectiveness and good numerical accuracy in extracting these fracture parameters from the finite element results in three-dimensional cracked solids.

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