Fracture mechanics approach to design analysis of notches, steps and internal cut-outs in planar components

T.G.F. Gray, J. Wood

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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A new approach to the assessment and optimization of geometric stress-concentrating features is proposed on the basis of the correspondence between sharp crack or corner stressfield intensity factors and conventional elastic stress concentration factors (SCFs) for radiused transitions. This approach complements the application of finite element analysis (FEA) and the use of standard SCF data from the literature. The method makes it possible to develop closed-form solutions for SCFs in cases where corresponding solutions for the sharp crack geometries exist. This is helpful in the context of design optimization. The analytical basis of the correspondence is shown, together with the limits on applicability where stress-free boundaries near the stress concentrating feature are present or adjacent features interact. Examples are given which compare parametric results derived from FEA with closed-form solutions based on the proposed method. New information is given on the stress state at a 90° corner or width step, where the magnitude of the stress field intensity is related to that of the corresponding crack geometry. This correspondence enables the user to extend further the application of crack-tip stress-field intensity information to square-cornered steps, external U-grooves, and internal cut-outs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-446
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2007


  • stress concentration factor
  • notch interaction
  • notch shielding
  • slots
  • steps
  • U-grooves

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