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Analysis of the Fatigue Crack Evolution of Corrugated Web Girders

Key Laboratory of Metallurgical Equipment and Control Technology, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Wuhan 430081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(8), 869;
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 8 August 2019
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Based on linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM), the fatigue crack evolution process and behavior of corrugated web girders were studied. The global finite element analysis (FEA) model of corrugated web girders was first developed and the equivalent structural stress method was used to reveal the dangerous locations along the weld under the bending load. The weld toe between the tension flange and the web weld, which is near the intersection of the inclined fold and the parallel fold, was determined as the fatigue crack easy-initiating location. Then a small region containing the crack-prone site was extracted as the sub-model for a crack propagating simulation. A semi-circle initial crack with 0.1 mm radius was inserted at the crack easy-initiating location. The stress intensity factors (SIFs; KI, KII, and KIII) of some discrete points along the crack front were calculated by the M-integral method. Based on Nasgro law, the geometry of the new crack front with a given extension length was obtained. Finally, the complete evolution process of the crack propagation was simulated. Results showed that the dominant crack propagating mode is open type (Mode I) and KI is the most important propagating driving force. According to the crack front shape evolution, the whole propagating process was divided into 6 stages. An obvious kink of the crack was found in stage 1, which covered only a very short time. The stages 3, 4 and 5 accounted for the majority of life, among which the stage 3 accounted for as high as 81% of the total life. Therefore, the cycles of the weld toe crack propagating from 0.1 mm to the thickness of the flange can be defined as the prediction life of this kind of structures. View Full-Text
Keywords: corrugated web girders; weld toe crack; evolution process; crack front; stress intensity factors (SIFs) corrugated web girders; weld toe crack; evolution process; crack front; stress intensity factors (SIFs)

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Wei, G.; Ye, F.; Li, S.; Chen, S. Analysis of the Fatigue Crack Evolution of Corrugated Web Girders. Metals 2019, 9, 869.

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