Center for Reliable Energy Systems

Fracture Mechanics

The application of fracture mechanics is based on the premise that the crack-tip fields of specimens and structures of different types can be characterized by the dominant fracture parameters such as the stress intensity factor K, J-Integral, or Crack Tip Opening Displacement (CTOD).  These fracture parameters are uniquely related to the asymptotic crack-tip stress and strain fields at the crack tip.  Under certain loading conditions the crack-tip fields of a specimen or structure can deviate appreciably from the asymptotic fields.  This deviation is often termed as the “loss” of crack-tip constraint.  The magnitude of such deviation is represented by constraint parameters, such as T-Stress or Q-Stress.

CRES staff has a long history of leading application-oriented research in fracture mechanics.  We apply constraint-sensitive fracture mechanics to a wide range of engineering structures.  This advanced approach enables more accurate assessment of structures containing planar flaws.