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# DISTORTION ENERGY THEORY OF FAILURE

## A THEORY OF FAILURE APPLICABLE TO DUCTILE MATERIALS

Statement of the theory
When Yie!in" occurs in any material, the !i#tortion #train ener"y \$er %nit &o%me at the
point of failure equals or exceeds the !i#tortion #train ener"y \$er %nit &o%me when
yie!in" occurs in the ten#ion te#t #\$e'imen.
The theory applies to ductile materials only, because it is based on yie!in".
The three !imen#iona (tria)ia* #tre## #it%ation+
In the three dimensional stress situation, the state of stress at a particular location is fully
defined by three principal stress 1

, 2

, 3

.
Strain ener"y at a o'ation of the eement
The strain energy at a particular location of the element can be segregated into three
categories, namely
!a" Total strain energy per unit #olume of the stressed element, arising from the principal
stresses 1

, 2

, 3

.
!b" \$train energy per unit #olume arising from the change of #olume caused by a
hydrostatic stress, which is uniform in all three directions
!c" \$train energy per unit #olume arising from distortion of the element, and which can be
considered as being the difference between !a" and !b".
ELASTIC STRESS,STRAIN RELATIONS
Uni,A)ia #tre##
This is the case of a single principal stress 1

.
%rincipal strains are then gi#en by the expressions
E E E
1
3
1
2
1
1
, ,

Where,

## %rincipal strain in the direction of the principal stress

%oisson&s ratio for the material
E 'odulus of elasticity for the material
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Bi,A)ia #tre## #it%ation
In this case the stress situation consists of two principal stresses 1

, 2

## , and the strains

1
are
gi#en by

1
( )
2 1
1

E
,
2
( )
1 2
1

E
, and
3
( )
2 1
1
+
E
Tri,A)ia #tre## #it%ation
This is the case of three principal stresses
1

,
2

,
3

## , and the strains in the directions of the

principal stresses are then gi#en by

1
( ) [ ]
3 2 1
1
+
E
!1"

2
( ) [ ]
3 1 2
1
+
E
!2"

3
( ) [ ]
2 1 3
1
+
E
!3"
ENERGY PER UNIT -OLUME AT STRESS LOCATION
Tota #train ener"y U
The total strain energy is the strain energy caused by the three principal stresses
1
,
2
, 3

.
It is gi#en by
U
1 1
2
1

(
2 2
2
1

(
3 3
2
1

!)"
\$ubstituting the three strains 3 2 1
, , and
in equations !1",!2" and !3" into equation !)"
yields
U ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
+ + + +
E
!*"
Strain Ener"y !%e to Chan"e of -o%me (Hy!ro#tati' #tre##* ony
The stress that causes change of #olume only !hydrostatic stress" may be considered as the
a#erage of the three principal stresses av

## , and deri#ed from the expression

av

3
3 2 1
+ +
!+"
\$ubstituting for the hydrostatic stress av

## , into equation !*" yields

v
U ( ) [ ]
2 2
3 2 3
2
1
av av
E

!,"
1
'echanical -ngineering .esign/ \$higley, 0oseph, pg 12), 'c1raw 2ill, \$e#enth -dition, 233)
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v
U
[ ]

2 1
2
3
2

E
av 4
[ ]
2
2
2 1 3
av
E

!5"
\$ubstituting the #alue of av

## from equation !+" into equation !5" yields

v
U
[ ]
2
3 2 1
3 2
2 1 3

,
_

+ +
E
4
[ ]
( )
2
3 2 1
2 6 7
2 1 3

+ +

v
U
[ ]
( )
2
3 2 1
+
2 1

+ +

E
4
[ ]
( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
+
2 1

+ + + + +

v
U ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
+
2 1

+ + + + +

E
!7"
This
v
U
is the strain energy per unit #olume caused by the uniform !hydrostatic" stress,
which is part of the three principal stresses 1

, 2

, 3

.
Di#tortion Ener"y at the o'ation of \$rin'i\$a #tre##e# 1

3 2

3 3

The distortion energy can then be obtained as the difference between the total strain energy at
the location of principal stresses, and the strain energy due to the hydrostatic portion of the
stresses at the same location. The distortion energy is then deri#ed from the expression

d
U U 8
v
U
Where,

d
U
.istortion energy in the element at the location of principal stresses 1

3 2

3 3

U ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
+ + + +
E
!*"

v
U ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
+
2 1

+ + + + +

E
!7"
Therefore,
d
U
4 ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
2
1
+ + + +
E
8
( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2
+
2 1

+ + + + +

E
d
U
4 ( ) ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
+ 3
+
1
+ + + +
E
8
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1 3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2 6 2 6 2 2
+
1
+ + + + + + + + +
E
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d
U
4
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
1
1
]
1

+ + + + + + + +
+ + + + + +
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1 3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1 3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
2 6 2 6 2 2
+ 3
+
1

E
d
U
4
( ) ( )
( ) ( )
1
1
]
1

+ + + + +
+ + + +
2
3
2
2
2
1 3 1 3 2 2 1
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
6 2 2
2 2
+
1

E
d
U
4
( )( ) ( ) ( ) [ ] 2 2 2 2
+
1
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
+ + + + + +
E
d
U
4
( )
( ) ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
+
2 2 1

+ + + +
+
E
d
U
4
( )
( ) ( ) [ ]
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
3
1

+ + + +
+
E
!13"
9ut
( ) ( )
3 1 3 2 2 1
2
3
2
2
2
1
+ + + + 4
( ) ( ) ( )
2
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1
+ +
Therefore
d
U
4
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1
3 6 2
1

+ +
+
E
!11"
d
U
4
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1
+
1

+ +
+
E
!12"
THE CASE OF SIMPLE TENSION TEST 4HEN YIELDING OCCURS
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:or the simple tension test specimen, the three principal stresses when yielding occurs are
1

4 y
S
, 2

43, 3

43
\$ubstituting for the principal stresses in equation !12" yields
d
U
4
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
2 2 2
3 3 3 3
+
1
+ +
+
y y
S S
E

d
U
4
( )
[ ]
2
2
+
1
y
S
E
+
!13"
THE CASE OF THREE DIMENSIONAL STRESS 4HEN YIELDING OCCURS
The distortion energy theory of failure states
When Yie!in" occurs in any material, the !i#tortion #train ener"y \$er %nit &o%me at the
point of failure equals or exceeds the !i#tortion #train ener"y \$er %nit &o%me when
yie!in" occurs in the ten#ion te#t #\$e'imen.
This can be restated that when yielding occurs in any situation
d
U
4
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1
+
1

+ +
+
E
!12"
E5UALS
d
U
4
( )
[ ]
2
2
+
1
y
S
E
+
!13"
( ) ( ) ( )
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1
+ + 4
2
2
y
S
( ) ( ) ( )
1
1
]
1

+ +
2
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1

4 y
S
!1)"
E5UI-ALENT (-on,Mi#e#* STRESS
The expression on the left hand side of equation !1)" is therefore considered as the
e6%i&aent #tre##
e

## , which causes failure by yielding. The equi#alent stress is then gi#en

by
e

4
( ) ( ) ( )
1
1
]
1

+ +
2
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1

!1*"
The equi#alent stress e

## is also referred to as -on Mi#e# stress.

DESIGN E5UATION BASED ON THE DISTORTION ENERGY THEORY
This is deri#ed by ad;usting the yield strength of the material in simple tension with an
appropriate factor of safety
. .s f
The design equation then becomes
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e

4
( ) ( ) ( )
1
1
]
1

+ +
2
2
3 1
2
3 2
2
2 1

4
. .s f
S
y
!1+"
APPLICATION OF THE DESIGN E5UATION
The principal stresses 1

3 2

3 3

## are first determined by stress analysis. \$uch analysis

describes the principal stresses as a function of the oa! carried, and the "eometry and
!imen#ion# of the machine or structural element.
The equi#alent stress in the design equation is then expressed in terms of the !imen#ion# of
the machine or structural element, while the right hand side is the ten#ie yie! #tren"th of
the material.
The fa'tor of #afety is simply a number chosen by the designer. The factor of safety together
with the strength of the material, gi#es the wor<ing
2
!design, allowable" stress expected in the
machine part. The solution to the design equation then gi#es the minim%m !imen#ion#
required to a#oid fai%re of the element by yie!in".
2
Wor<ing \$tress, page *2,,2andboo<, 'etals -ngineering =.esign, >merican \$ociety of 'echanical
-ngineers !>\$'-"
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