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Bronislav Prokhorov
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SMART Crack Growth: A Powerful and Easy-to-Use Tool for Crack Growth Analysis in Ansys Workbench

Crack Growth Analysis Using Ansys Workbench: A Portable and Powerful Tool for Engineers

Crack growth analysis is a vital technique for assessing the structural integrity, reliability, and safety of engineering components and systems. It involves simulating the initiation, propagation, and fracture of cracks under various loading conditions. Crack growth analysis can help engineers design better products, optimize performance, prevent failures, and extend service life.

Crack Growth Ansys Workbench Tutorialsl PORTABLE

In this article, we will show you how to use Ansys Workbench, a simulation integration platform that connects various Ansys products, to perform crack growth analysis. We will also show you how to download and install Ansys Workbench software for free on your device. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what crack growth analysis is, why it is important, how to use Ansys Workbench for crack growth analysis, and how to get started with Ansys Workbench software.

What is Crack Growth Analysis and Why is it Important?

Definition and Concepts of Crack Growth Analysis

Crack growth analysis is a branch of fracture mechanics that deals with the study of crack initiation and crack propagation in materials subjected to cyclic or static loads. The main goal of crack growth analysis is to predict the size, shape, orientation, and location of cracks in a structure, as well as the number of cycles or load levels required for crack growth or failure.

Crack growth analysis is based on the concept of stress intensity factor (SIF), which is a measure of the stress state at the crack tip. The SIF depends on the geometry of the structure, the crack configuration, and the applied load. The SIF can be calculated using analytical or numerical methods, such as finite element analysis (FEA).

The rate of crack growth per cycle, or da/dN, is a function of the SIF range, or ΔK, which is the difference between the maximum and minimum SIF values in a load cycle. The relationship between da/dN and ΔK can be expressed by various empirical or theoretical equations, such as the Paris-Erdogan equation. The crack growth rate can also be influenced by other factors, such as stress ratio, overloads, load history, material properties, environmental conditions, etc.

Applications and Benefits of Crack Growth Analysis

Crack growth analysis has many applications in various engineering domains, such as aerospace, automotive, civil, mechanical, nuclear, biomedical, etc. It can be used to evaluate the performance and durability of structures that are prone to fatigue or static loading, such as aircraft wings, turbine blades, bridges, pipelines, pressure vessels, implants, etc.

Some of the benefits of crack growth analysis are:

  • It can help engineers design structures that are resistant to crack initiation and propagation.

  • It can help engineers optimize the material selection, geometry, dimensions, load distribution, etc. of structures.

  • It can help engineers estimate the remaining life or service intervals of structures based on crack size and growth rate.

  • It can help engineers detect and monitor cracks in structures using non-destructive testing (NDT) methods.

  • It can help engineers prevent catastrophic failures and reduce maintenance costs and downtime.

How to Use Ansys Workbench for Crack Growth Analysis

An Overview of Ansys Workbench Platform and Features

Ansys Workbench is a simulation integration platform that connects various Ansys products, such as Ansys Mechanical, Ansys Fluent, Ansys CFX, etc. It provides a unified and consistent user interface, data management, and project workflow for performing various types of simulations, such as structural, fluid, thermal, electromagnetic, etc.

Ansys Workbench also offers a powerful and flexible tool for crack growth analysis, called SMART (Separating Morphing and Adaptive Remeshing Technology) Crack Growth. SMART Crack Growth is an automated and robust method that can simulate the initiation and propagation of cracks in 2D or 3D models with complex geometries and loading conditions. SMART Crack Growth can handle multiple cracks, mixed-mode loading, crack branching, crack coalescence, crack closure, etc. It can also calculate the SIFs, da/dN, fatigue life, etc. for each crack.

SMART Crack Growth is integrated with Ansys Mechanical, which is a general-purpose FEA software that can perform static, dynamic, linear, nonlinear, thermal, modal, etc. analyses. Ansys Mechanical can also import geometries and meshes from various CAD and meshing software, such as SolidWorks, CATIA, ICEM CFD, etc.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Perform Crack Growth Analysis with Ansys Workbench

In this section, we will provide a step-by-step guide to perform crack growth analysis with Ansys Workbench using SMART Crack Growth. We will use a simple example of a center-cracked plate subjected to tensile loading. The geometry and dimensions of the plate are shown in the table below.



Plate length (L)

100 mm

Plate width (W)

50 mm

Plate thickness (t)

5 mm

Initial crack length (a)

10 mm