Mixed Mode Loading
By the nature of a 3D finite element analysis any mixed mode effects present at the crack front will be inherent in the stress solution regardless of whether they are attributed to the applied loading or the crack configuration within the component.
Zencrack calculates fracture mechanics parameters that embody these mixed mode effects and in a crack growth analysis the direction of growth incorporates any mixed mode effect:
The fracture mechanics parameters are calculated at each element corner node along the crack front and in general will vary along the crack front. The consequence of changing mixed mode effects along the crack front is a change in growth direction leading to non-planar crack growth.
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