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Int J Fatigue 15 No 4 (1993) pp 333-340

A multiple crack model for fatigue in

welded joints
S. To, S.B. Lambert and D.J. Burns

Several linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) models have been developed to
simulate the fatigue performance of welded joints, particularly for offshore structures.
Such models are used to estimate residual life when cracks are discovered in service.
These models are also used to interpret available experimental results and may
eventually be used in design. A key element to the success of such models is the
realistic modelling of fatigue crack shape development. In all fatigue testing of
welded T-plate, pipe-plate and tubular joints in the Canadian Offshore Research
Programme, care was taken to monitor crack shape development using beach marks
and potential-drop techniques. Crack shape development was significantly influenced
by specimen thickness, stress distribution and environment. A fatigue model is
proposed which explicitly models the growth and coalescence of multiple semi-
elliptic fatigue cracks. Such a model has the potential of modelling geometry and
environmental effects through their influence on crack shape development. The
basics of this model, including coalescence and the calculation of stress intensity
factors, are discussed. Verification studies involving both T-plate and pipe-plate
specimen geometries are presented.

Key words: fatigue; welded joints; fracture mechanics modelling; crack shape

Extensive fatigue testing has been performed as part of the coalescence, forcing functions were used to define the relationship
Canadian Offshore Research Programme. Figure 1 illustrates between aspect ratio (crack depth divided by surface length)
two of the welded joint specimens used. Plate-plate (T-plate) and crack depth. This relationship was obtained from an
joints (Fig. l(a)) were used to examine the influence of thickness exponential curve fit to experimental data, obtained from ink
and environment on fatigue performance. 1-4 The pipe-plate stains and beach marks. Differences in crack shape development
specimen (Fig. l(b)) was developed to simulate tubular joint as a function of stress level and specimen thickness were
fatigue behaviour and to examine the influence of environment.S" incorporated. The empirical aspect ratio forcing functions for
6 In addition, T-tubular joints were used to investigate the two stress levels are given in Fig. 2, along with the experimental
influence of ring stiffeners, z Crack initiation and growth were data from which they were derived. All forcing functions begin
monitored in every test using potential-drop techniques. In with an aspect ratio a/2c of 0.5. As the aspect ratio approaches
some cases, ink stains or beach marks were also used. When 0.1, the crack is assumed to reach the edge of the specimen,
potential-drop readings indicated initiation, ink stains were and the aspect ratio is forced to zero. This simulates the
applied to record the crack size and shape. Thereafter, for the formation of an edge crack, and is illustrated as a vertical line
pipe-plate specimens, the load range was reduced at intervals in Fig. 2.
to produce a beach mark on the fracture surface for subsequent The resulting model provided a good simulation of the
comparison with potential drop predictions. experimental data on which it was based and a good estimate
These tests indicate that multiple cracks initiate along the of the thickness effect. In so doing, it emphasized the importance
weld toe early in the fatigue life, grow, coalesce and tend to of crack shape development in any LEFM model for fatigue of
form a dominant crack. Some data were used in the development welded joints.
and verification of a linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) A major limkation of the above model is that it relies on
model for fatigue crack propagation in plate-plate welded detailed experimental data for crack shape development. Such
joints. 4,s This model considered crack propagation only. The data were not available for the tests in seawater. However,
interface between initiation and propagation was defined as the examination of potential-drop data indicated that the influence
point at which the apparent depth was 0.5 mm. This was of seawater on crack shape development was dramatic. 6'tl These
judged to be the detection limit for the potential-drop techniques differences, like the differences observed as a result of stress
used in the experimental programme, and an acceptable lower level and thickness, can be attributed largely to differences in
bound for LEFM analysis. 9 the distribution of initiation sites. Therefore a new approach is
As is usual, propagation was simulated through integration necessary which will accommodate such differences in initiation
of the Paris equation. A single semi-elliptic crack was assumed behaviour and predict ensuing crack shape development.
(Fig. 1(c)). Stress intensity factors were obtained from an Although fracture mechanics models for fatigue of welded
extensive series of three-dimensional finite element analyses, t joints have been presented in the literature, la most do not fit
To account for the presence of multiple cracks and their ensuing the requirement stated above. Most consider semi-elliptic cracl~

0142-1123/93/040333-08 1993 Butterworth- Heinemann Ltd

Int J Fatigue July 1993
to simplify the calculation of stress intensity factors. Dijkstra
e t a P 3 presented a model for crack propagation which did not
require explicit crack shape forcing functions. A single crack
was assumed and the stress intensity factor was calculated at
the deepest point and at the surface. Integration was performed
at both locations to determine crack shape development (so-
called natural development). The stress intensity magnification
factor Mk~ (see Fig. 3(b)) at the surface was set equal to the
a stress concentration factor. Although the calculation of stress
intensity factors at a surface is subject to much uncertainty and
this assumption appears unduly conservative, the result is an
aspect ratio development which simulates the effect of coalescence
reasonably well. However, such a model may not adequately
model seawater effects, nor be applicable for a wider range of
specimen geometries.
A direct extension of the Dijkstra e t a113 approach was
presented by Snijder e t al. 14 In this model, several equally
spaced cracks are assumed. After some initial growth, the cracks
touch and are assumed to coalesce instantaneously, resulting in
either a dominant single semi-elliptic crack or an edge crack,
depending on the geometry of the specimen and the distribution
b of initial cracks. This model is restrictive in that it does not
include a realistic distribution of initiation occurrences and
An alternative approach was presented by Bergez e t al. is
Their model allowed for random initiation in time but again
assumed that cracks were equally spaced. All cracks were
assumed to be rectangular and line-spring analyses were used
to calculate stress intensity factors. This modelled the latter
stages of crack coalescence well and allowed for the development
Weld r e i n f o r c e m e n t ~ of irregular cracks. However, their stress redistribution function
" t' --2c L and the simplified stress intensity factor calculations raise some
C..c,,,ane questions regarding early crack shape development and the
generality of the model.
The approach proposed herein is intended to allow for the
C initiation, growth and coalescence of multiple semi-elliptic
cracks. No arbitrary decisions are made with respect to the
Fig. 1 Schematic of (a) T-plate and (b) pipe-plate specimens, timing or position of initiated cracks. Such data are directly
with (c) detail of crack at weld toe
input into the model. The present paper concentrates on the
verification of the propagation phase of the model, and uses
initiation data obtained from specific T-plate and pipe-plate
specimens tested in air. The predicted crack shape development
0.5 and fatigue lives are compared with the results of the experiments.
In future, initiation data, specified in terms of time (cycles)
kA to initiation and initial crack size, can be determined from a
separate initiation model. Such a model can be based on
experimental S-NI data, or local strain approaches. These
initiation data will be influenced by joint thickness and
i ,',?', environment, for example, and are likely to have a strong
0.3 influence on the subsequent propagation behaviour.
d iio'
. ~ \ 13 Proposed model
0.2- ; The stress intensity factors used in the proposed model are
< :D o,, calculated with the weight function for a semi-elliptic crack in
\o rlX a flat plate developed by Shen and Glinka. 16 These results are
0.1 ,P %l [] compared in Fig. 3 with equivalent results using the 'O'-integral
I rl weight function of Oore and Burns and with the finite element
o 0 results of Bell 1 for semi-elliptic cracks in a plate-plate T-joint.
I The results are presented as magnification factors; these are
0(0 I I I ~1 i [ l l l l l l l l l l Iiii i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i 1 1 1 1 1 1 iii
obtained by dividing the stress intensity factors by the corre-
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 .0
sponding result for a geometrically similar crack in a flat plate
Relative crack depth, o / T subject to the nominal bending stress distribution. The reference
Fig. 2 Measured aspect ratio development and empirical c u r v e flat plate values are obtained from Newman and Raju. TM The
fits: r-l, T8B, 100 MPa; A, TTB, 150 MPa; (2), T9B, 200 MPa; .... , results are presented spearately for the deepest point Mk and
empirical, 200 MPa; - - - , empirical, 100 MPa the surface point M~ in Figs 3(a) and 3(b) respectively. All

334 Int J Fatigue J u l y 1993

where C and m are material constants. The same constants are
used for both the deepest point and the surface points. The
3.5 two surface points for each crack are treated separately to
accommodate a non-uniform stress distribution along the weld
3.0 toe. Figure 9(a) presents such a stress distribution for the
pipe-plate specimen. The Shen and Glinka weight function is
2.5 does not consider any variation of the magnitude of the stress
field along the weld toe. Therefore the stress intensity factor is
2.0 calculated assuming a uniform stress field along the weld toe
equal to the uncracked stress distribution at the point of interest.
~\ O-integral
At the beginning of each time-step, the initiation data file
1.5 ~'%. / Shen and Glinka is checked to determine if a new crack has appeared. This is
added to the array of cracks currently under consideration.
1.0 During the time step, each crack is grown in depth and length.

\ At the end of the time step, all cracks are checked for
coalescence. Crack coalescence occurs when two adjacent cracks
just touch. At this point, the two cracks are recategorized as a
0.0 l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l IIIIll single crack with a surface length equal to the total surface
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 length of the two cracks and a depth equal to the depth of the
a /T deeper crack.
No interaction is assumed until the cracks actually touch.
Although interaction algorithms suggested by Murakami and
4.0 Nemat-Nasser 19 and Soboyejo et aP were examined, they have
little effect (less than 5% on life) and will not be considered
3.5 Dijkstra approach further. Such interaction tends to decrease the life. An opposite
effect is obtained by ignoring the time required to propagate
3.0 the crack from the point where the cracks first touch to where
"', Bell they can be considered a single semi-elliptic crack.
2.5 / ++o,,o+ If a crack touches one edge of the specimen, the crack is
~''"" _~ / O-integral first recategorized as a quarter-elliptic comer crack having the

\j-:--c../ same maximum depth and surface length. Then the stress
intensity factor used is for a semi-elliptic crack having the same
\ " " .... -.. depth and twice the surface length. In other words, half of this
1.5 semi-elliptic crack is imaginary. If the crack touches both edges
of the specimen, an edge crack is assumed. The final life is
1.0 determined when the crack depth reaches 0.5T for the T-plate
specimens, and 0.8T for the pipe-plate. These definitions were
used to be consistent with the definitions of the end of the life
used in the experimental programmes.
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 Results
b o/r
To verify the suitability of the model, direct comparisons were
Fig. 3 Stress intensity magnification factors for a semi-elliptic made with experimental data for two T-plate and two pipe-plate
crack, a/2c = 0.125: (a) deepest point; (b) surface point specimens. The T-plate specimens I (Fig. l(a)) had equal
attachment and base plate thicknesses and a full penetration
weld with a 45 flat fillet-like profile. The specimens used in
results are in good agreement (within 10%) for the deepest this comparison were 78 or 103 mm, and were tested in the
point. More uncertainty exists for the surface point. In this as-welded condition in three point bending with the load applied
case, the Shen and Glinka 16 results tend to be the most through the attachment plate. The nominal bending stress range
conservative. at the weld toe was 125 and 85 MPa, respectively. Specimens
In this paper, initiation information (timing, size, shape were tested using constant amplitude loading with an R-ratio
and position of cracks) was obtained directly from the (minimum stress/maximum stress) of 0.05.
experimental data for each specimen, and attention is concen- The pipe-plate specimen s (Fig. l(b)) consisted of a 457 mm
trated on the prediction of the growth and coalescence of the diameter pipe with a 30 mm wall thickness welded to the centre
crack array for each specimen. The fracture surface was stained of a 26 mm thick plate, approximately 1 m wide by 1.5 m
with ink some time after the potential drop had indicated crack long. A full penetration, one-sided weld with a flat 45 fillet-
initiation; therefore, the initial crack sizes varied over a wide like profile was used. A horizontal cyclic load was applied to
range. Crack propagation was simulated through an Euler the top of the pipe as shown in Fig. l(b) to produce a local
integration of Paris' law with respect to cycles for the deepest bending in the plate at the weld toe. The two pipe-plate
point a and surface points q and c2 of each semi-elliptic crack: specimens considered herein were nominally identical except
da dCt for the applied load. Specimen PP1 was loaded with a hot-spot
--aN = C(aK+')m' aN = C(aK")m' stress range Shs obtained by a linear extrapolation of strain
gauge measurements to the weld toe, s of 240 MPa. PP2 was
tested at 160 MPa. Both specimens were tested using constant
dN amplitude loading at an R-ratio of 0.05.

Int J Fatigue July 1993 335

All specimens were manufactured from offshore quality Distance along weld toe (ram)
250 grade carbon manganese structural steel: the 103 mm T-plate
25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200
material was manufactured to CSA G40.21 WT specification, and I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I

the 78 mm T-plate material and the pipe-plate base plate 70

material were manufactured to Lloyds LT 60 specification. 60
Crack growth rate information was obtained for both materials 50
from small-scale bending tests by Lawrence. 2~ The C and m 40
values in Paris' law were not significantly different for the two 30 x

materials. C and m were 6.29 10 -12 and 2.95, respectively, 20

for K in MPa ~,/m and crack depth in metres. These values
0 . . . . . . . v . . . . .
were obtained for an R-ratio of 0.5. Although testing of the a I 2 3 4
welded joints was performed at an R-ratio of 0.05, the higher
R-ratio material data were used to account for the presence of Distance along weld toe (mm)
tensile residual stresses in the welded joint. 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200
I i I I l I I l I I I I I I
As mentioned, the stress intensity factors were obtained 100
using the Shen and Glinka 16 weight function. This requires the 90
uncracked stress distribution through the thickness, which was 80
obtained from elastic finite element anlayses. The T-plate welds 70
were modelled with a 45 weld angle and a root radius of 1.5 E 60
and 1.6 mm for the 78 and 103 mm thick T-plate specimens, so i D
respectively. Plane strain elements were used. For the pipe-plate
specimen, an axisymmetric finite element analysis was perfor- 30 C; + + ~
x x x x x
med 22 to obtain the through-thickness stress distribution. This
distribution was scaled based on strain gauge measurements on 0
the plate surface, along the weld, s to derive the through- b I 2 3 4 5 6
thickness stress distributions at locations along the weld as
illustrated in Fig. 9(a). In this figure, S represents the surface Fig. 5 Crack profiles for T-plate analysis: --, predicted crack
growth. (a) 78 mm: , 241 360 cycles; I-1, 443020 cycles (B);
stress, extrapolated to the weld toe, at each location along the A, 575 890 cycles (C); +, 653 990 cycles (D); , 731 190 cycles.
weld. (b) 103 ram: , 2 467 720 cycles; [] 2 984 943 cycles (B); A,
3251 483 cycles (C); +, 3543212 cycles (D); , 3794415
P l a t e - p l a t e joints cycles
The initial crack distributions, obtained from ink stains, are
shown for these T-plate specimens in Fig. 4. The number
appearing next to the crack can be used to relate the crack to were not applied on these T-plate specimens. However,
the presentations of crack shape development in Figs 5-7. potential-drop estimates of the crack depth were available and
Potential-drop measurements during testing of the 78 mm are plotted for comparison with the model predictions. The
specimen indicated a crack initiation event (no. 4) some time development of the individual cracks, formation of a dominant
after the ink stains had been applied. Simulations were run crack, and the result of reaching the edge of the specimen are
without crack no. 4, or with crack no. 4 added at the appropriate clearly shown.
number of cycles. The addition of crack no. 4 did not Data of the type shown in Figs 5(a) and (b) have been
significantly influence the general crack shape development or used to prepare Figs 6(a) and (b). Here the predicted aspect
the life. Figure 5(a) shows the simulation results with crack ratio development for each crack is plotted versus the crack
no. 4 included. depth. The initial situation (ink stain) is shown with large open
Figures 5(a) and (b) illustrate the predicted crack shapes symbols, and further marked with identifying crack numbers.
for the T-plate specimens. As mentioned earlier, beach marks In Fig. 6(a) (the simplest case), there are three distinct
coalescence events: cracks 1 and 2 coalescing to form crack 2',
cracks 3 and 2' coalescing to form 2", and cracks 4 and 2"
Distance along weld toe (mm) coalescing to form 2'". In addition, crack 2'" becomes an edge
0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 crack at a crack depth a/T of about 0.35 as shown. To simplify
the presentation, each coalescence event is only shown for one
of the pair of coalescing cracks. In all cases, the deepest crack

E 4 f I 2 3 4
r is used. Therefore, the coalescence events appear as vertical
dashed lines in the figure. Estimates of the actual crack aspect
ratio from potential drop readings are also indicated. Such
estimates are only relevant for relatively large, shallow defects
owing to problems with current redistribution for small or
irregular cracks. There appears to be reasonable agreement
Distance along weld toe (mm) between the predicted and measured crack shape development
0 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 2O0 for both T-plate specimens. In general, the simulated aspect
8 | i I I I i I I I I I I I i I I ratios are somewhat higher than the measurements.
E 4 1 2 3
4 5
This success in the simulation of crack shape development
is also reflected in the crack growth curves shown in Figs 7(a)
and (b). For several locations along the crack front, crack
b depths at the deepest point of dominant cracks are compared
Fig. 4 Input data for T-plate analysis. (a) 78 m m : 1-3, ink with potential drop estimates. Good estimations of life are
stain; 4, PD estimation. (b) 103 ram: 1-6, ink stain obtained (Table 1). The shape of the predicted curves follows

336 Int J Fatigue July 1993


0.4 32

c; 24

0.2 E A

< 16
2 m t3
2" Edge crack

i i i i I i i i I i i f i t i i i I I I i i i I i i i i I i i i I I I I I

0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4

a Normalized crack depth, o/T

.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 .0

0"5 I a N (millions of cycles}

0.4 48
u 1,6

d A
O. I
< &d)
0.1 E 24
Edge crack I
t l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l J i i i i i i i i II

0.0 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20

b Normalized crack d e p t h , a/T 12

Fig. 6 Aspect ratio development for T-plate specimens: (a)

78mm; (b) 103mm. , ink stain; I-1, PD estimate; --,
simulation; - - - , coalescence
0 , .~ ~ L ~,,e ~ ,I.~ ~ = I~1~ I,,,
0.0 0.8 1.6 2.4 3.2 4.0 4.8
the actual results, with changes in slope corresponding to
b N(millions of cycles)
significant coalescence events.
Fig. 7 Crack g r o w t h behaviour for T-plate specimens: - - ,
Pipe-plate joints simulation, (a) 78 mm. PD estimate probe position: O, 100 m m ;
Crack distributions for the two pipe-plate specimens are I-I, 1 2 5 m m ; A , 1 3 8 m m . (b) 103 mm. PD estimate probe
position: O, 88 ram; [~, 50 m m ; /% 25 m m
illustrated in Fig. 8. In this case, extensive beach marking was
performed in addition to the initial ink stain; therefore, data
are available at several stages in the life. All of these data were
used in the simulations. A total of five cracks were used in the Table 1. Fatigue life comparison
simulation for PP1, and 21 for PP2. Each of these cracks is
labelled in Fig. 8. Table 1 gives the predicted lives for simulations Difference,
where subsequent initiation events were considered. Ignoring Predicted E x p e r i m e n t a l ( N T - N x ) / N x
the extra initiation data provided by beach marks later in the Specimen life, NT life, Nx (%)
fatigue life resuks in a significant underestimation of the crack
growth along the surface, and a sigmficant overestimation of "1"78 7.16x10 s 7.47 10 s -4.2
the aspect ratio for dominant cracks. It leads to longer predicted T106 3.606108 3.92108 -8.0
lives: 20% longer for PP1 and 10% longer for PP2. PP1 3.56 10 s 4.1210 s -13.6
The crack shape development for the simulation of the PP2 1.034x10 e 1.10108 -6.0
pipe-plate specimens is given in Fig. 9. The symbols in this
case represent direct measurements of beach marks, and therefore
give an accurate indication of the real crack shape development.
The simulation results are presented for lives corresponding to is reasonably well predicted for PP1 (Fig. 9(a)), but is
the beach marks. The crack growth through the depth is significantly under-predicted for PP2 (Fig. 9(b)). This results
overestimated, most probably because of the use of conservative in an overestimation of the crack aspect ratio.
stress intensity factor calculations. The growth along the surface This overestimate of the aspect ratio is evident in Fig. 10,

Int J Fatigue July 1993 337

Distance from hot spot (ram)
-200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200
l I I I I I I
E 3 4 0.4
4 5 i 2
a (3 0.3

Distance from hot spot (mm) <

-200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200

12l i , , , ~ , ,
12 3S
-g8 4
[i i iii i i iIiii Illll I~11 I IIII IIIII i iII iiill i i i i i i i i
~, 4 19,A, 1 13 14 235 7 11 12 I
o , /~ ~?G4Y3~I0~ n ~ 8 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 .0
46 9 a
Normalized crack d e p t h , o/T
Fig. 8 Input data for p i p e - p l a t e analyses. (a) PPI: I, 2, ink
stain; 3, 4, beach mark I; 5, beach mark 2. (b) PP2: 1-12, ink
stain; 13-18, beach mark I; 19, 20, beach mark 2; 21, beach
mark 3 0.4

-200 -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 200
0.3 X
~ + +
0.5 "~
0.2 I I
0.0 ul
5 1 3 2 +1012 <

~0.5~ D

u~ 0.0 ~ , , , , , , t I l J l l l l l l l l l l l J l l l l l l t l l l l | t l l l l l l l l | l l l t l l l l i
-200-150-I00-50 0 50 100 150 200
a Circumferential distance from hot spot {ram} 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 .0
b Normalized crack d e p t h , a/T
Distance from hot spot (mm)
-200 -150 -I00 -50 0 50 100 150 200 Fig. 10 Aspect ratio development: (a) PP1; (b) PP2. O, ink
i i ] l i i i
stains; I-% beach marks; - - , simulation; - - - , coalescence
20 f .~~ " ~ ' " * , ~ ,
10 ~#~'~"*+~
ratios are given in Table 2. The simulation aspect ratios are
19 1 13 2 57 11 12 2015 21161718 6.5% and 112% higher than the actual values for PP1 and
PP2, respectively. Both errors should lead to significant
b underestimations of the stress intensity factor,
Fig. 9 Crack profiles: - - - - . , predicted crack growth. (a) PP1 : O, Actual and predicted stress intensity factors are also
ink stain (126 kcycles); I% beach mark 1 (270 kcycles) (B); A , presented in Table 2. The stress intensity factors have been
beach mark 2 (354 kcycles) (C); +, beach mark 3 (408 kcycles) normalized with respect to Ko=Sh,~/ara, where S~ is the hot-
(C). (b) PP2: O, ink stain (360kcycles); ID, beach mark 1
(700 kcycles) (B); A , beach mark 2 (830 cycles) (C); +, beach spot stress. The actual stress intensity factors have been obtained
mark 3 (960 kcycles) (D); x , beach mark 4 (1090 cycles) from the measured crack-growth rates. 23 The simulated results
were obtained using the weight function with the simulated
aspect ratio. The calculated results are also obtained using the
where the aspect ratio is plotted versus the crack depth for weight function, but the actual aspect ratio has been used.
each specimen. However, the trends in the crack shape These results clearly show that the effects of a conservative
development are well predicted. For example, the significant stress intensity factor calculation are partially offset by our
differences in early crack shape development between the two overestimation of the crack aspect ratio. The net result is an
specimens are clearly evident in the simulation results. In underestimate of the life.
addition, the tendency towards a common aspect ratio late in The fatigue crack growth_ behaviour is compared with the
the life is also apparent. simulations in Fig. 11. The overall simulation of fatigue life is
Despite an overestimation of the crack aspect throughout very good. In Fig. 11(a), an independent crack (no. 5) has
the life, the total life was somewhat underestimated. It is initiated very late in the fatigue life, yet was far enough away
therefore interesting to compare the simulation and experimental from the dominant crack to remain independent for some time.
results in more detail at a crack depth of 0.67". At this depth, This is also evident in Fig. 9(a). This illustrates an important
a single dominant crack, approximately semi-eUiptical in shape, aspect of this model. Cracks are allowed to initiate throughout
was present in both specimens. The actual and predicted aspect the life, and their eventual coalescence serves to accelerate crack

338 Int J Fatigue July 1993

Table 2. Stress intensity correction factors from experiment and simulation

Aspect ratio, a/2c K/Ko

Calculated from
actual aspect
Specimen Actual Simulation Actual Simulation ratios

PP1 0.061 0.065 0.517 0.566 0.672

PP2 0.049 0.104 0.533 0.528 0.754

growth along the surface. Despite the fact that a total of nine
25- such cracks, not including the ink stain, were accounted for in
the simulation of PP2, the surface crack growth was still very
significantly underestimated.
R~oo There are at least three factors that can contribute to the
underestimation of surface crack growth. First, the stress
intensity factor at the surface may be underestimated. It has
been shown that the stress intensity factors used in this analysis
B o
for the deepest point are conservative for this geometry. The
values at the surface point were also conservative when compared
a o with finite element or other weight function results. Therefore,
10 it appears unlikely that the stress intensity factors are underesti-
t. & ra o mated.
Second, it is possible that more macroscopic cracks initiated
t, o
along the weld toe, but were not detectable through the beach-
marking process. Such cracking could serve to accelerate crack
growth along the surface. This could be accounted for in the
,=, .... , .... , .... , ....
present simulation once an initiation model is developed.
0C Finally, it is possible that microscopic damage has occurred
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.q 0.5 0.6
along the weld toe, ahead of the advancing crack. This
a N(millions of cycles) accumulation of damage could adversely affect the material,
increasing the crack growth rates. This is not explicitly accounted
for with the proposed model, but could be readily included by
modifying the crack growth rate information along the surface.
Another alternative would be to use the Dijkstra et a P ~
approach: /e force the surface crack growth to be higher by
25 using a conservative estimate to M~ (K<).
It is not yet possible to determine which of the above
factors, or combination of factors, would be most realistic.
More critical experimentation is necessary to resolve this.
20 ~ 0O However, the results presented herein suggest that even without
such refinements, the current model has considerable potential
for the modelling of fatigue crack growth behaviour in welded
15 joints.

10 Conclusions
A multiple crack model for fatigue of welded joints has been
presented. The model explicitly allows for random initiation of
defects in time and position. The semi-elliptic cracks are allowed
to grow independently until they make contact with a neighbour.
At this point, the two cracks are recategorized as a single semi-
0(~ HI ~ , . t t i i I I I I I I i I I I
elliptic crack. Cracks which reach one edge of a finite-width
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 specimen are recategorized as comer cracks. Upon reaching
both edges, they are recategofized as straight-fronted edge
b N(millions of cycles) cracks.
Fig. 11 Crack g r o w t h b e h a v i o u r : ~ , s i m u l a t i o n . (a) PP1. PD
To verify the suitability of the model, detailed comparisons
estimate probe position: , -102 mm; i-I, 0 mm; A , 19 mm. were made with experiments on large-scale welded specimens.
(b) PP2. PD estimate probe position: , - 4 5 mm; n, -32 mm; Particular emphasis was placed on the accurate modelling of
A, 0mm crack shape development. In general, the agreement with

Int J Fatigue July 1993 339

experiment was very good. The predicted propagation lives joints' Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, Proc
were within 15% of the experimental results. The crack shape OMAE'89, The Hague, The Netherlands, 19-23 March 1989
(ASME, New York, 1989) pp 437-446
development was also well modelled.
There was a tendency, however, for the surface crack 7. Forbes, J. 'Fatigue in stiffened T-tubular joints for offshore
structures' PhD thesis (University of Waterloo, Canada,
growth rates to be underestimated. This may be a result of one 1991 )
or more of the following factors: underestimation of the stress
intensity factor at the surface point, unaccounted-for initiation 8. Bell, R., Vosikovsky, O., Bums, D.J. and Mohaupt, U.H. 'A
fracture mechanics model for life prediction of welded
events later in the life, or accumulation of microscopic damage plate joints' Steel in Marine Structures, op cit pp 901-910
ahead of the crack tip along the surface. While each of these
9. Otegui, J.L., Kerr, H.W., Burns, D.J. end Mobeupt, U.H.
factors may be readily incorporated into the model, careful 'Fatigue crack initiation from defects at weld toes in steel'
experimentation and analysis are necessary to evaluate their Int J Pressure Vessels and Piping 39 (1989) pp 385-417
relative importance. 10. Bell, R. 'Stress intensity factors for weld toe cracks in
The effects of underestimation of the surface crack growth welded T-plate joints' DSS Contract 0ST84-00125(Faculty
rates were partially offset by an overestimation of the stress of Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, May 1987)
intensity at the deepest point, with a result that the actual crack 11. Vosikovsky, O. and Tyson, W.R. 'Effects of cathodic
growth behaviour (and lives) were well simulated. The calculation protection on fatigue life of steel welded joints in seawater'
of these stress intensity factors must be more carefully investi- Cathodic Protection: a + or - in Corrosion Fatigue? Proc
gated, particularly for the more complex geometries represented Workshop, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 30 Sept 1986(Ministry of
Supply and Services, Canada, 1986)
by the pipe-plate joint.
The multiple crack model shows great promise for the 12. Bums, D.J., Lambert, S.B. and Mohaupt, U.H. 'Crack growth
simulation of fatigue propagation life for welded joints. An behaviour and fracture mechanics approach' Steel in
Marine Structures, op cit pp 137-160
initiation model is necessary to provide the input data for the
present simulations. Such a model should account for weld 13. Dijkstra, O.D., Snijder, H.H. and van Straalen, I.J. 'Fatigue
crack growth calculations using stress intensity factors for
geometry, stress and environmental effects. In combination with weld toe geometries' Offshore Mechanics and Arctic
the propagation model, this should allow the accurate simulation Engineering, op cit pp 137-143
of the entire fatigue life. 14. Snijder, H.H., van Delft, D.R.V., Dijkstra, O.D. and Noord-
An important aspect of such an overall model is the proper hoek, C. 'Fatigue crack modelling for multiple initiated
consideration of the variability inherent in the fatigue process. cracks at weld toes in tubular joints' Proc Int ConfBehaviour
A balanced approach is needed to ensure that the model does of Offshore Structures, BOSS'88, Trondheim, Norway, June
not become unnecessarily refined. 1988 (Tapir, Trondheim, 1988)
15. Bergez, D., I ebas, G. and Samier, P. 'Probabilistic approach
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Acknowledgements op cit pp 941-949

Financial support for S. To was provided through Natural 16. Shah, G. and GUnka, G. 'Closed form weight functions for
a semi-elliptical crack in a finite thickness plate' Theor
Science and Engineering Research Council operating grants to Applied Fract Mech submitted for publication
S.B. Lambert and D.J. Bums. The authors would like to thank
Dr O. Vosikovsky for providing crack shape development data 17. Desjardins,J.L., Lambert, S.B., Bums, D~J. and Thompson,
J.C. 'A weight function technique for surface cracks with
for the T-plate specimens. applications to welded joints' Proc Conf Fatigue of Offshore
Structures, London, 19-20 September 1988 (Engineering
Materials Advisory Services, West Midlands, UK, 1988) pp
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340 Int J F a t i g u e J u l y 1993