Software > Zencrack > Technical > Post-processing > Utility software

Utility software

Two utility programs are provided to further post-process the Zencrack results, in addition to the direct post-processing of detailed integration results and crack profiles described here:

  • "process" - generation of data for plotting results at crack front nodes
  • "3dmesh" - generation of crack growth profile plots.


The "process" utility program allows generation of a csv (comma separated variable) file containing detailed information for one or more positions on a crack front. This allows easy importing of data into a spreadsheet where the results can be plotted and analysed. This type of processing is essential in order to understand the large amount of data that can be generated in an analysis. Information can be extracted at:

Output positions for PROCESS
  • specified node positions
  • a parametric distance along each crack profile
  • at intersection of each crack profile with a plane

Examples of these three methods are shown here:

   Process the "mid" node position (red line).
   Process at a position (s=0.5 in this example) along each crack front (yellow line).
   Process at a user defined plane intersection along each crack front (blue line).

A Microsoft Excel template is supplied to allow plots to be quickly generated from the csv file. The template is intended for use with a crack growth analysis but can readily be modified for other applications (e.g. single f.e. steps with multiple sets of results through a time history).

When using the template with results from a crack growth analysis, graphs are automatically available for:

  • Sum of da vs Cycles (for fatigue and combined fatigue/time dependent growth analysis)
  • Sum of da vs Time (for time dependent and combined fatigue/time dependent growth analysis)
  • Stress intensity factors vs Sum of da
  • Energy release rate vs Sum of da
  • %Error in sqrt(G) terms vs Sum of da (this graph indicates solution accuracy).


The "3dmesh" utility program is an alternative to import of results into the Zencrack GUI and allows the crack growth history to be represented by a f.e. mesh that can then be viewed in a pre-processor. For example:

Abaqus example Ansys example
Profiles for a model with 3 crack fronts viewed in Abaqus/Viewer (growth remains below threshold at several points) Profiles for a symmetry model of a semi-elliptic surface crack viewed in Ansys

The output from 3dmesh may also be superimposed on the uncracked mesh to allow visualisation of the profiles against the specimen geometry. For example:

Figure 6
Crack growth profiles from utility program "3dmesh" superimposed on the model geometry

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