of a Stationary Crack
BY M. L. WILLIAMS,2 PASADENA, CALIF.
In an earlier paper it was suggested that a knowledge of In a previous investigation (7) the plane-stress distribution near
the elastic-stress variation in the neighborhood of an the vertex of an infinite sector of included angle a was con-
angular corner of an infinite plate would perhaps be of sidered for various combinations of boundary conditions. For
value in analyzing the stress distribution at the base of a the particular purpose of this paper it is desired to consider the
V-notch. As a part of a more general study, the specific case where the two radial edges of the plate are unloaded and the
case of a zero-angle notch, or crack, was carried out to included angle approaches 271". It has been shown that stress
supplement results obtained by other investigators. This functions, i.e., solutions of V''x(r, 8) = 0, of the form
paper includes remarks upon the antisymmetric, as well
x(r, 8, ;\) - r>..+ 1F(8; A)
as symmetric, stress distribution, and the circumferential
distribution of distortion strain-energy density. For the = r}.+ 1[c1 sin (;\ + 1)8 + c2 cos (;\ + 1)8
case of a symmetrical loading about the crack, it is shown + ca sin (;\ - 1)8 + c, cos (;\ - 1)8]... . . [l]
that the energy density is not a maximum along the direc-
tion of the crack hut is one third higher at an angle ± cos- 1 will satisfy the conditions of stress-free edges along 8 = 0 and
(l/3); i.e., approximately ±70 deg. It is shown that at the
8 = a if the X are chosen as the positive roots of
base of the crack in the direction of its prolongation, the sin (Xa) = ±X sin a ................. f2]
principal stresses are equal, thus tending toward a state of
(two-dimensional) hydrostatic tension. As the distance For the case where a = 271", corresponding to the case of a crack
from the point of the crack increases, the distortion strain with flank angle w = a - 271" = 0, the eigenequation takes the
energy increases, suggesting the possibility of yielding particularly simple form sin (27rA) = 0, thus requiring ;\ = n/2,
ahead of the crack as well as ±70 deg to the sides. The n = 1, 2, 3, ... , and yielding the stress function
maximum principal tension stress occurs on ±60 deg rays. x(r, 8; n/2) = r<nl2>+ 1
For the antisymmetrical stress distribution the distortion
strain energy is a relative maximum along the crack and
60 per cent lower ± 85 deg to the sides.
[c1 sin ( ; + 1) 8 + c cos ( %+ 1) 8 2
109
110 JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS
y
CT.p(r, t/;) =
4
r111t { a1 [-3 cos ; -
3
cos : J
I + b1 [ -3 sin ; -
3
3 sin : J}
1
+ 4a 2 sin 2 if; + O(r h) + ......... [12]
( b) FORKED CRACK
r,y,(r, t/;) =
4r~f2 { a1 [-sin ; -
3
sin : J
(a)
For most cases of interest, including the usual tension and bending
specimens, CT,, along the edge x = -xo (see Fig. 1) is zero; hence
L:: +~
for these cases CT,, = 4a2 = 0 and thus Equations [11-13] with re-
Xo(r, t/;) {(-l)n- 1b2n-1r n spect to the radial variation are all of the form r-'/z + O(r'li),
n = 1,.2, 3, ...
and the local stress variations in the vicinity of the base of. the
crack, r--+- 0, are proportional, up to vanishing terms in r, to the
contribution of the first term. If the boundary x = -x11 were
loaded, however, say by a uniform pressure, this contribution
would have to be superimposed.
+ (-l)nb 2 ,,rn+i [-sin ( n - %) if; It is convenient at this point to compute two quantities useful
in photoelastic analysis; specifically, the sum of the normal
+ ~: + ~ sin ( n + } ) if; J} ...... [9]
stresses, which is proportional to the isopachic lines, and the ·
difference of the principal stresses, which is proportional to the
isochromatic lines.
It should be observed that even though the field equation and Thus
the boundary conditions along the radial edges are satisfied, the
constants ai and bi are undetermined. Their values of course de-
pend upon the loading conditions; more specifically, either upon 4r~ls {a1 [-8 cos ; ]
CT,(r, t/;) = -
1
{a1 [-5cos1_2 +cos 32t/IJ
- cos ; sin 2 ; sin 2a J a1 + [cos ; ( 2 - 3 cos 2 ; ) cos 2a
4r 1f2
+ 2a 1b1 [ (32 - 22v) sin t t cos f3n-i = (31/;/4) ± (7r/4); also isotropic locus at if; ~ 0 .. [30]
2µU,(r, 1/;) = r I h {
a1 [(
- 5 + 4cr )· cos 2
2
1/; + 21 2
cos 31/;J
CRACK CRACK
2µU y,(r, ,/,
.,, ) = r '/1 { a1 [( 7 2- 4cr ) sm
.. 1/; 2 - 21 2
. 31/;J
sm
where
cr=v/(l+v) (o) SYMMETRIC CASE (b) ANTISYMMETRIC CASE
12
n-;' sin o/ n~r
"I/2 r. 3
~-4 sin
2
yJl/2
SYMMETRICAL STRESS D1sTRIBUTION
Frn. 2 IsocHROMATIC-FRINGE PATTERNS
For the sake of simplicity it is convenient to analyze the two
types of solutions separately; the symmetric solutions, i.e., b, = 0,
The first of these relates to the observation that the shear stress
are perhaps the more common, occurring, for example, in the case
is zero along the line of propagation of the crack (1/; = 0). The
of an edge crack in a thin plate subjected to bending or tension.
Specializing the stresses and the other quantities to this case
er, and cry, stresses must therefore be principal stresses as ex-
pected, but moreover from Equation [29] the stresses are equal
gives
1
CT1 (0) - CT2(0) = (-a 1 )r- h + ...
cr,(r, 1/;) =
4
2
r11h [ -5 cos 1/; + cos 31/;J 2 a1 + ..... [23] In other words, at the base of the crack there exists a strong tend-
112 JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS
3.0
2.5
er
1.5
1.0 0.6
0.5 0.4
0.2
0 20 40 60 eo"' 100 120 140 160 180
2.0 2(1+u) b 1 2
I. e wd (0) = Er
1.5
Oj 1.6
1.0
·a
0.5
0 160 10
1.0
0.8
0.6
( b) ANTISYMMETRIC CASE
1.21 O'"o
/
I
I
/~,
I 0
I
I
I
I
2µU,(r, if>° =
1
r I• [ (-3 + 4u) sin + of the radius, the stress should become quite high with a tendency
toward a cleavage failure. At the same time the elastic analysis
indicates there should be a large amount of distortion off to the
+ f 3
cos : J b1 + ......... [40]
which tends to substantiate the remarks concerning an area of
yielding off the crack direction, presumably ±70 deg for an ex-
actly symmetrical loading.
<T1 + u2 =~I
4r 2
[-8 sin±] b1
2
+ ......... [-HJ
In addition, because the stress becomes nonhydrostatic as the
distance from the point of the crack increases, by Equation [35].
there may be reason therefore to suspect a yielded region ahead
<11 - <12 =
4r~/t [ 8 (1- ! 1
sin 2 1/;} '] b1 + ..... [42]
of the crack also, although not as severe.
As a second remark, concerning the direction of cracking or
forking, it is recognized that slow-moving cracks generally
propagate more or less straight. 4 Because some cracks do fork,
W = ~
Er
[<1 - v) sin2 ±2 + (1 + v) 'In an interesting piece of work Yoffe (9) has discussed the chitnge
of direction of a running crack due to its velocity and has found that
(1- J
~ sin 2 1/;) + ......... [43]
if the material is such that a crack propagates in a direction normal
to the maximum tensile stress (which, incidentally, is not uf as she
apparently has assumed; indeed aside from the principal stresses,
W
d
= -
b1 2
Er
[1 + v .
--
3
sm 2 - if
2
+ (1 + v)
ur ;::: 111f), there is a critical velocity of about 0.6 times the velocity of
shear waves in the material above which the crack tends to become
curved. It may be of value to supplement her work by testing her
hypothesis with respect to the maximum principal tensile stress; it is
( 1- ~ sin 2
lf') J+ ......... [44]
suspected, however, that the results will be qualitatively the same be-
cause, as she has remarked and as is shown in Fig. 6, the stress field is
relatively uniform over a wide area in front of the crack.
114 JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS
however, it may be worth noting that any arbitrary crack will be 2 "The Phenomena of Rupture and Flow in Solids," by A. A.
subjected simultaneously to both symmetric and antisymmetric Griffith, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London,
England, vol. 221, 1921, pp. 163-198.
loading. In this connection it is observed that for the antisym- 3 "Stresses at a Crack, Size of the Crack and the Bending of Rein-
metric contributions the relative maximum and minimum ener- forced Concrete," by H. M. Westergaard, Proceedings of the Ameri-
gies, for example, tend to negate the effects which occur for a can Concrete Institute, vol. 30, 1934, pp. 93-102.
symmetrical loading. One might therefore conclude that for 4 "Bearing Pressures and Cracks," by H. M. Westergaard,
JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS, Trans. ASME, vol. 61, 1939, pp.
randomly oriented cracks there would be no preferred direction A-49-53.
that the crack might take upon moving, with macroscopic struc- 5 "Experimental Study of Stresses at a Crack in a Compression
ture and rate-of-energy release being controlling factors. On the Member," by S. C. Hollister, Proceedings of the American Concrete
other hand, it may be possible to relate the maximum principal Institute, vol. 30, 1934, pp. 361-365.
6 "Photoelastic Stress Analysis for an Edge Crack in a Tensile
tensile stresses occurring at ±60 deg, in the neighborhood of the Field," by D. Post, Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Stress
maximum distortion, to the angle crack-forking phenomenon Analysis, vol. 12, no. l, 1954, p. 99.
shown, for example, by Post (6) or in Fig. l(b), although again 7 "Stress Singularities Resulting From Various Boundary Condi-
for metals as opposed to plastics the effect of crystal orientation tions in Angular Corners of Plates in Extension," by M. L. Williams,
JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS, Trans. ASME, vol. 74, 1952, p.
and slip planes probably would be quite strong. 526.
8 "The Slip Band Extrusion Effect Observed in Some Aluminum
BIBLIOGRAPHY Alloys Subjected to Cyclic Stresses," by P. J.E. Forsyth and C. A.
Stubbington, Royal Aircraft Establishment, MET Report 78,
"Stresses in a Plate Due to the Presence of Cracks and Sharp January, 1954.
Corners," by C. E. Inglis, Transactions of the Institution of Naval 9 "The Moving Griffith Crack," by E. H. Yoffe, Philosophical
Architects, London, England, vol. 60, 1913, p. 219. Magazine, vol. 42, part 2, 1951, pp. 739-750.