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Crack tip fields and fracture resistance parameters based on strain gradient plasticity

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Shlyannikov, V 
Martínez-Pañeda, Emilio  ORCID logo
Tumanov, A 
Tartygasheva, A 


The crack tip mechanics of strain gradient plasticity solids is investigated analytically and numerically. A first-order mechanism-based strain gradient (MSG) plasticity theory based on Taylor's dislocation model is adopted and implemented in the commercial finite element package ANSYS by means of a user subroutine. Two boundary value problems are considered, a single edge tension specimen and a biaxially loaded plate. First, crack tip fields are characterized. Strain gradient effects associated with dislocation hardening mechanisms elevate crack tip stresses relative to conventional plasticity. A parametric study is conducted and differences with conventional plasticity predictions are quantified. Moreover, the asymptotic nature of the crack tip solution is investigated. The numerical results reveal that the singularity order predicted by the first-order MSG theory is equal or higher to that of linear elastic solids. Also, the crack tip field appears not to have a separable solution. Moreover, contrarily to what has been shown in the higher order version of MSG plasticity, the singularity order exhibits sensitivity to the plastic material properties. Secondly, analytical and numerical approaches are employed to formulate novel amplitude factors for strain gradient plasticity. A generalized J-integral is derived and used to characterize a nonlinear amplitude factor. A closed-form equation for the analytical stress intensity factor is obtained. Amplitude factors are also derived by decomposing the numerical solution for the crack tip stress field. Nonlinear amplitude factor solutions are determined across a wide range of values for the material length scale l and the strain hardening exponent N. The domains of strain gradient relevance are identified, setting the basis for the application of first-order MSG plasticity for fracture and damage assessment.



Strain gradient plasticity, Fracture mechanics, Plastic stress intensity factor, Finite element analysis, Crack tip mechanics

Journal Title

International Journal of Solids and Structures

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Elsevier BV