The Virtual Crack Closure Technique: History, Approach and Applications
INSTITUTE FOR COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING HAMPTON VA
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An overview of the virtual crack closure technique is presented. The approach used is discussed, the history summarized, and insight into its applications provided. Equations for two-dimensional quadrilateral elements with linear and quadratic shape functions are given. Formula for applying the technique in conjuction with three-dimensional solid elements as well as plateshell elements are also provided. Necessary modifications for the use of the method with geometrically nonlinear finite element analysis and corrections required for elements at the crack tip with different lengths and widths are discussed. The problems associated with cracks or delaminations propagating between different materials are mentioned briefly, as well as a strategy to minimize these problems. Due to an increased interest in using a fracture mechanics based approach to assess the damage tolerance of composite structures in the design phase and during certification, the engineering problems selected as examples and given as references focus on the application of the technique to components made of composite materials.