Abaqus implementation of extended finite element method using a level set representation for three-dimensional fatigue crack growth and life predictions

Jianxu Shi*, David L Chopp, Jim Lua, N. Sukumar, Ted Belytschko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations

Abstract

A three-dimensional extended finite element method (X-FEM) coupled with a narrow band fast marching method (FMM) is developed and implemented in the Abaqus finite element package for curvilinear fatigue crack growth and life prediction analysis of metallic structures. Given the level set representation of arbitrary crack geometry, the narrow band FMM provides an efficient way to update the level set values of its evolving crack front. In order to capture the plasticity induced crack closure effect, an element partition and state recovery algorithm for dynamically allocated Gauss points is adopted for efficient integration of historical state variables in the near-tip plastic zone. An element-based penalty approach is also developed to model crack closure and friction. The proposed technique allows arbitrary insertion of initial cracks, independent of a base 3D model, and allows non-self-similar crack growth pattern without conforming to the existing mesh or local remeshing. Several validation examples are presented to demonstrate the extraction of accurate stress intensity factors for both static and growing cracks. Fatigue life prediction of a flawed helicopter lift frame under the ASTERIX spectrum load is presented to demonstrate the analysis procedure and capabilities of the method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2840-2863
Number of pages24
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Volume77
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Keywords

  • Crack growth
  • Fatigue life prediction
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Stress intensity factor
  • X-FEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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