How Does Zencrack Work?
Zencrack is aimed at tackling "real" engineering problems and is based on the use of 3D finite element models. Combining meshing algorithms, either via mesh modification or full remeshing, and a crack growth integration scheme, the program is able to analyse surface and embedded cracks in complex structures and predict growth under fatigue or time dependent loading.
A Zencrack simulation first requires an uncracked 3D finite element mesh of the component or structure of interest. This must be generated by the user with their standard pre-processing tools for the particular finite element package that they use. Zencrack then uses a remeshing or crack-block meshing approach to insert one or more user-specified cracks into the mesh. A cracked mesh is created and submitted to the finite element code for analysis. Results of the finite element analysis are automatically extracted and post-processed to provide stress intensity factor and energy release rate distributions along the crack front(s).
If crack growth is being modelled, the crack front(s) in the mesh are advanced to simulate crack growth and a further finite element analysis is carried out. This process repeats until the analysis reaches a termination point - this may be, for example, due to KIC being exceeded.
A schematic diagram of this high-level overview of the simulation process is shown in this flowchart.
Rather than using a proprietary finite element solution, Zencrack is interfaced to independent commercial codes.
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