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Blog

With the ESIS blog we want to promote and intensify relevant scientific discussions on recent publications in Engineering Fracture Mechanics. The blog is hosted by IMechanica on:

http://imechanica.org/node/9794

The editors, Professors Karl-Heinz Schwalbe and Tony Ingraffea, support this initiative. ESIS hopes that this blog will achieve the following objectives:

• To initiate scientific discussions on relevant topics by highlighting, leaving comments, suggestions, questions etc. related to recent publications;

• To suggest re-reading, re-examination, comparison of results from the past, that may be overlooked by the authors or have fallen into general oblivion;

• To promote and give reference to groups with similar or related scientific goals and to promote collaboration, as well as bridging gaps between different disciplines;

• To focus attention on new ideas that may face a risk of drowning in the noise of today's extensive scientific production;

Per Ståhle

Latest posts from ESIS Blog on IMechanica


Paris' exponent m<2 and behaviour of short cracks

I came across a very interesting paper in Engineering Fracture Mechanics about a year ago. It gives some new results of stochastic aspects of fatigue. The paper is: ”On the distribution and scatter of fatigue lives obtained by integration of crack growth curves: Does initial crack size distribution matter?” by M. Ciavarella, A. Papangelo, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Vol 191 (2018) pp. 111–124. The authors remind us of the turning point the a Paris' exponent m=2 is. Initial crack length always matters but if the initial crack is small, the initial crack is seemingly very important for the if m>2. For exponents less than 2, small initial cracks matters less or nothing at all. If all initial cracks are sufficiently small their size play no role and may be ignored at the calculation of the remaining life of the structure. Not so surprising this also applies to the stochastic approach by the authors. What surprised me is the in the paper is the fuzz around small cracks. I am sure there is an obstacle that I have overlooked. I am thinking that by using a cohesive zone model and why not a Dugdale or a Barenblatt model for which the analytical solutions are just an inverse trigonometric resp. hyperbolic function. What is needed to adopt the model to small crack mechanics is the stress intensity factor and a length parameter such as the crack tip opening displacement or an estimate of the linear extent of the nonlinear crack tip region. I really enjoyed reading this interesting paper and get introduced to extreme value distribution. I also liked that the Weibull distribution was used. The guy himself, Waloddi Weibull was born a few km's from my house in Scania, Sweden. Having said that I will take the opportunity to share a story that I got from one of Waloddi's students Bertram Broberg. The story tells that the US army was skeptic and didn't want to use a theory (Waloddi's) that couldn't even predict zero probability that object should brake. Not even at vanishing load. A year later they called him and told that they received a cannon barrel that was broken already when they pulled it out of its casing and now they fully embraced his theory. Per Ståhle

 

18.Mar.2019


Open access puts scientists in control of their own results

The last ESIS blog about how surprisingly few scientists are willing/able to share their experimental data, received an unexpectedly large interest. Directly after the publication another iMechanica blogger took the same theme but he put the focus on results produced at numerical analyses that are presented with insufficient information. While reading, my spontaneous guess was that one obstacle to do right could be the widespread use of commercial non-open codes. The least that then could be done is to demonstrate the ability of the code by comparing results with an exact solution of a simplified example. My fellow blogger also had an interesting reflection regarding differences between theoreticians and computational scientists and it suddenly occurs to me that everything is not black or white. Robert Hooke concealed his results and by writing an anagram, he made sure that he could still take the credit. He didn't stop at that. When he made his result known he added some ten years to how early he understood the context. And he got away with it. To some consolation, the EU 8th Framework programme, also called Horizon 2020, finances the OpenAIRE-, and its successor the OpenAIREplus-project that is developed and managed by CERN. The intention is to increase general access to research results with EU support. As a part of this the Zenodo server system was launched. As the observant reader of the previous blog might have seen noted, Zenodo was used by the authors of the survey we discussed in the previous ESIS blog "Long term availability of raw experimental data in experimental fracture mechanics", by Patrick Diehl, Ilyass Tabiai, Felix W. Baumann, Daniel Therriault and Martin Levesque, in Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 197 (2018) 21–26 , with supplementary materials including all bibtex entries of the papers here The purpose of Zenodo is to make sure that there will be enough storage capacity for open access data for everyone. Mandatory for all Horizon2020 financed projects and in first hand all EU financed projects. I learn from the parallel blog that there are a DataVerse, an openKIM, a Jupyter project and probably much more, in the support of open-access. It seems to me that DataVerse covers the same functionality as Zenodo. In addition they offer an open-source server with the possibility to set up and run your own server and become integrated in a larger context, which seems very practical. OpenKIM is a systematic collection of atomistic potentials built by users. Jupyter Notebooks yet another open-source project supporting computing in any programming language. They have a written code of conduct. It is not as depressing as it first looks. In essence it summarises your rights and obligations. It could possibly be better with one single repository or at least one unified system. But why not let a hundred flowers bloom. At the end the solution could be a search engine that covers all or a user's choice of the open-access repositories. Per Ståhle

 

11.Mar.2019


Discussion of fracture paper #21 - Only 6% of experimentalists want to disclose raw-data

Experimental data availability is a cornerstone for reproducibility in experimental fracture mechanics. This is how the technical note begins, the recently published "Long term availability of raw experimental data in experimental fracture mechanics", by Patrick Diehl, Ilyass Tabiai, Felix W. Baumann, Daniel Therriault and Martin Levesque, in Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 197 (2018) 21–26. It is five pages that really deserves to be read and discussed. A theory may be interesting but of little value until it has been proven by experiments. All the proof of a theory is in the experiment. What is the point if there is no raw-data for quallity check? The authors cite another survey that found that 70% of around 1500 researchers failed to reproduce other scientists experiments. As a surprise, the same study find that the common scientists are confident that peer reviewed published experiments are reproducible. A few years back many research councils around the world demanded open access to all publications emanating from research finansed by them. Open access is fine, but it is much more important to allow examination of the data that is used. Publishers could make a difference by providing space for data from their authors. Those who do not want to disclose their data should be asked for an explanation. The pragmatic result of the survey is that only 6% will provide data, and you have to ask for it. That is a really disappointing result. The remaining was outdated addresses 22%, no reply 58% and 14% replied but were not willing to share their data. The result would probably still be deeply depressing, but possibly a bit better if I as a researcher only have a single experiment and a few authors to track down. It means more work than an email but on the other hand I don't have 187 publications that Diehl et al. had. Through friends and former co-authors and some work I think chances are good. The authors present some clever ideas of what could be better than simply email-addresses that are temporary for many researchers. The authors of the technical note do not know what hindered those 60% who did receive the request and did not reply. What could be the reason for not replying to a message where a colleague asks you about your willingness to share the raw experimental data of a published paper with others? If I present myself to a scientist as a colleague who plan to study his data and instead of studying his behaviour, then chances that he answers increase. I certainly hope that, and at least not the reversed but who knows, life never ceases to surprise. It would be interesting to know what happens. If anyone would like to have a go, I am sure that the author's of the paper are willing to share the list of papers that they used. Again, could there be any good reason for not sharing your raw-data with your fellow creatures? What is your opinion? Anyone, the authors perhaps. Per Ståhle

 

21.Aug.2018


Discussion of fracture paper #20 - Add stronger singularities to improve numerical accuracy

It is common practice to obtain stress intensity factors in elastic materials by using Williams series expansions truncated at the r ^(-1/2)-stress term. I ask myself, what if both evaluations of experimental and numerical data is improved by including lower order (stronger singularities) terms? The standard truncation is done in a readworthy pape r "Evaluation of stress intensity factors under multiaxial and compressive conditions using low order displacement or stress field fitting", R. Andersson, F. Larsson and E. Kabo, in Engineering Fracture Mechanics, 189 (2018) 204–220, where t he authors propose a promising methodology for evaluation of stress intensity factors from asymptotic stress or displacement fields surrounding the crack tip. The focus is on cracks appearing beneath the contact between train wheel and rail and the difficulties that is caused by compression that only allow mode II and III fracture. The proposed methodology is surely applicable to a much larger collection of cases of fracture under high hydrostatic pressure such as at commonplace crushing or on a different length scale at continental transform faults driven by tectonic motion. In the paper they obtain excellent results and I cannot complain about the obtained accuracy. The basis of the analysis is XFEM finit element calculations of which the results are least square fitted to a series of power functions r^n /2. The series is truncated at n =-1 for stresses and 0 for displacements. Lower order terms are excluded. We know that the complete series, converges within an annular region between the largest circle that is entirely in the elastic body and the smallest circle that encircles the non-linear region at the crack tip. In the annular ring the complete series is required for convergence with arbitrary accuracy. Outside the annular ring the series diverges and on its boundaries anything can happen. A single term autonomy is established if the stress terms for n <-1 are insignificant on the outer boundary and those for n >-1 are insignificant on the inner boundary. Then only the square root singular term connects the outer boundary to the inner boundary and the crack tip region. Closer to the inner boundary the n ≤-1 give the most important contributions and at the outer the n ≥-1 are the most important. I admit that in purely elastic cases the non-linear region at the crack tip is practically a point and all terms n <-1 become insignificant, but here comes my point: Both at evaluation of experiments and numerics the accuracy is often not very good close to the crack tip which often force investigators to exclude data that seem less accurate. This was done in the reviewed paper, where the result from the elements closes to the crack tip was excluded. This is may be the right thing to do but what if n =-2, a r ^-1 singularity is included? After all the numerical inaccuracies at the crack tip or the inaccurate measurements or non-linear behaviour at experiments are fading away at larger distances from the crack tip. In the series expansion of stresses in the elastic environment this do appear as finite stress terms for n ≤-1. It would be interesting to hear if there are any thoughts regarding this. The authors of the paper or anyone who wishes express an opinion is encouraged to do so. Per Ståhle

 

10.Jun.2018


Discussion of fracture paper #19 - Fracture mechanical properties of graphene

Extreme thermal and electrical conductivity, blocks out almost all gases, stiff as diamond and stronger than anything else. The list of extreme properties seems never ending. The paper Growth speed of single edge pre-crack in graphene sheet under tension, Jun Hua et al., Engineering Fracture Mechanics 182 (2017) 337–355 , deals with the fracture mechanical properties of graphene. A sheet of armchair graphene can be stretched up to 15 percent which is much for a crystalline material but not so much when compared with many polymers. The ultimate load, on the other hand, becomes huge almost 100 GPa or more. Under the circumstances, it is problematic to say the least, that the fracture toughness is that of a ceramic, only a few MPam^(1/2). Obviously cracks must be avoided if the high ultimate strength should be useful. Already a few microns deep scratches will bring the strength down to a a few hundred MPa. The research group consisting of Jun Hua, Qinlong Liu, Yan Hou, Xiaxia Wu and Yuhui Zhang from the dept. of engineering mechanics, school of science, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an, China, has studied fast crack growth in a single atomic layer graphene sheet with a pre-crack. They are able to use molecular dynamics simulations to study the kinetics of a quasi-static process. They pair the result with continuum mechanical relations to find crack growth rates. A result that provide confidence is that the fracture toughness obtained from molecular primitives agrees well with what is obtained at experiments. The highlighted results are that the crack growth rate increases with increasing loading rate and decreasing crack length. The tendencies are expected and should be obtained also by continuum mechanical simulations, however then not be first principle and requiring a fracture criterion. Another major loss would be the possibility to directly observe the details of the fracture process. According to the simulation results the crack runs nicely between two rows of atoms without branching or much disturbances of the ordered lattice. The fracture process itself would not be too exciting if it was not for some occasional minor disorder that is trapped along the crack surfaces. The event does not seem to occur periodically but around one of ten atoms suffers from what the authors call abnormal failure. Remaining at the crack surface are dislocated atoms with increased bond orders. All dislocated atoms are located at the crack surface. The distorted regions surrounding solitary dislocated carbon atoms are small. A motivated question would be if the dissipated energy is of the same order of magnitude as the energy required to break the bonds that connects the upper and lower half planes before fracture. Can this be made larger by forcing the crack to grow not along a symmetry plane as in the present study. Without knowing much about the technical possibilities I assume that if two graphene sheets connected to each other rotated so that the symmetry planes do not coincide, the crack would be forced to select a less comfortable path in at least one of the sheets. Everyone with comments or questions is cordially invited raise their voice. Per Ståhle

 

31.Dec.2017


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