Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/theses/2096
Date of Award
MS in Mechanical Engineering
This thesis investigates the feasibility and usability of the finite element method approach in the design of crack arresting devices. Current design and manufacturing practices are improving structures' susceptibility to fracture, in particular brittle fracture; however, cracks in structures are still observed within their lifespans due to severe unexpected service conditions, poor designs, or faulty manufacturing. Crack arrester systems can be added during service to prolong the longevity of structures with sub-critical or critical flaws. Fracture properties of different specific structures under specific services can be obtained experimentally, however, experiments are expensive and of high complexity. Alternatively, the finite element method can reduce these factors and provide reliable solutions. Finite element analysis conducted provides insight into the modeling process and the effectiveness of the simulation of fracture problems. Fracture mechanics technology in conjunction with the finite element method allows for the evaluation of the effectiveness of introducing crack arresters to a flawed structure. Additionally, the simulation of recorded crack arrester experiments alongside analytic methods are used to verify the finite element analysis results. The work in this thesis verifies the validity of using the finite element approach in designing crack arrester systems for flawed structures and suggests further investigation be done with variation in crack arrester types.