AbstractThis thesis presents a numerical study of crack propagation in brittle materials. The finite element method using constant strain triangular elements was used. The experimental investigation is based on Gurney and Hunt's quasi-static method of fracture testing.
The applicability of the finite element method of analysis to problems of fracture mechanics is demonstrated for the simple cases where a theoretical solution is obtainable. The comparison of both solutions gives good agreement.
The effect of test specimen geometry and the effect of halting the crack tip on one side of a symmetrical specimen on stability and the shape of P,u curve is investigated. Numerical P,u curves are produced and compared with those obtained experiment ally. A good correlation of results may be seen.
The possibility of using an O-section as a fracture toughness specimen is discussed.
Determination of the crack path using dV/da energy criterion is shown and the results are verified by experiments using the brittle lacquer technique.
Possible future work is discussed in the last chapter.
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