Fracture and Fatigue Emanating from Stress Concentrators

By Prof. Guy PLUVINAGE, Université de Metz, France


A vast majority of failures emanate from stress concentrators such as geometrical discontinuities. The role of stress concentration was first highlighted by Inglis (1912) who gives a stress concentration factor for an elliptical defect, and later by Neuber (1936). With the progress in computing, it is now possible to compute the real stress distribution at a notch tip. This distribution is not simple, but looks like pseudo-singularity as in principle the power dependence with distance remains. This distribution is governed by the notch stress intensity factor which is the basis of Notch Fracture Mechanics. Notch Fracture Mechanics is associated with the volumetric method which postulates that fracture requires a physical volume. Since fatigue also needs a physical process volume, Notch Fracture Mechanics can easily be extended to fatigue emanating from a stress concentration.