In general engineering practice, crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) is very convenient approach for prediction of the components fracture mechanics (FM) lifetime. FM lifetime calculations are defined very well in industry and the lifetime prediction methods based on the CTOD resolve linear and nonlinear material behavior for monotonic and cyclic responses. The experiments confirm that under plasticity conditions the crack tip blunts for small scale or large scale yielding while, crack flanks open against each other only under elastic conditions. However, the CTOD application requires a very fine mesh in order to predict a crack tip deformation in reliable manner. Therefore, much more engineering work have to be involved in fine FE modeling. The crack tip flank deformation is crucial parameter responsible for reliable prediction of the nonlinear energy release rate, which is obtained from Hutchinson-Rice-Rosengren solution and the Shih rule. In accordance with design guidelines, the nonlinear energy release rate obtained from the CTOD must be evaluated conservatively to meet demands of RAM (Reliability, Availability and Maintainability). By using far crack deformation field, the paper proposes an engineering approach, which predicts the CTOD in a conservative manner under elastic-plastic conditions. This novel method is validated numerically by applying the well-known J-integral approach.

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