Engineering procedures for design and integrity assessment of structural components containing crack-like defects are highly dependent on accurate fracture toughness and Fatigue Crack Growth (FCG) experimental data. Considering ductile and high toughness structural materials, crack growing curves (e.g. J-R curves) and FCG data (in terms of da/dN vs. ΔK or ΔJ) assumed paramount relevance. In common, these two types of mechanical properties severely depend on real-time and precise crack size estimations during laboratory testing. Optical measurement, electric potential drop or (most commonly) elastic unloading compliance (C) techniques can be employed. In the latter method, crack size estimation derives from C using a dimensionless parameter (μ) which incorporates specimen’s thickness (B), elasticity (E) and compliance itself. Plane stress and plane strain solutions for μ are available in several standards regarding C(T), SE(B) and M(T) specimens, among others. Current challenges include: i) real specimens are in neither plane stress nor plane strain-modulus vary between E (plane stress) and E/(1−ν2) (plane strain); ii) furthermore, side-grooves affect specimen’s stiffness, leading to an “effective thickness”. Results from Shen et al. and from current authors revealed deviations larger than 10% in crack size estimations following existing practices, especially for shallow cracks and side-grooved samples. In addition, compliance solutions for the emerging SE(T) specimens are not yet standardized. As a step in this direction, this work investigates 3-D and side-groove effects on compliance solutions applicable to C(T), SE(B) and clamped SE(T) specimens. Refined 3-D elastic FE-models provide Load-CMOD evolutions. The analysis matrix includes crack depths between a/W = 0.1 and a/W = 0.7 on 1/2T, 1T and 2T geometries. The 1T geometry is taken as the reference and presents width to thickness ratio W/B = 2. Side-grooves of 5%, 10% and 20% are considered. The results include compliance solutions incorporating 3D and side-groove effects to provide accurate crack size estimation during laboratory fracture and FCG testing. The proposals were verified against current standardized solutions and deviations were strongly reduced.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.