Three-dimensional microstructural effects on plane strain ductile crack growth

Viggo Tvergaard, Alan Needleman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Ductile crack growth under mode 1, plane strain, small scale yielding conditions is analyzed. Overall plane strain loading is prescribed, but a full 3D analysis is carried out to model three dimensional microstructural effects. An elastic-viscoplastic constitutive relation for a porous plastic solid is used to model the material. Two populations of secondphase particles are represented, large inclusions with low strength, which result in large voids near the crack tip at an early stage, and small second-phase particles, which require large strains before cavities nucleate. The larger inclusions are represented discretely and the effects of different three dimensional distributions on the crack path and on the overall crack growth rate are analyzed. For comparison purposes, a two dimensional distribution of cylindrical inclusions is analyzed. Crack growth occurs off the initial crack plane in all 3D computations, whereas straight ahead crack growth occurs with the two dimensional cylindrical inclusions. As a consequence, the three dimensional distributions of spherical inclusions exhibit an increased crack growth resistance as compared to the two dimensional distribution of cylindrical inclusions. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number20
Pages (from-to)6165-6179
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Ductile fracture
  • Void growth
  • Computer simulation

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