The aim of this study is to propose the damage model on the basis of the mechanism for ductile fracture related to void growth and applicable to ductile fracture assessment for steels. In order to determine damage evolution law, void growth behavior in the material was investigated by elasto-plastic finite element analyses using unit cell model with an initial void. From the results of the unit cell analyses, it was evident that a void in unit cell grew nonlinearly with increasing applied macroscopic strain. Moreover, the relationships between normalized void volume fraction and normalized strain by each critical value corresponding to crack initiation were independent of stress-strain relationship of material and stress triaxiality state. Based on this characteristic associated with void growth, damage evolution law representing nonlinear damage accumulation was derived. Then, using the damage evolution law, ductile damage model reflecting void growth behavior and ductility of material was proposed.

For validation and application of the proposed damage model, ductile crack growth tests using bend specimens with a machined notch or a fatigue pre-crack were conducted for low carbon steel. The proposed damage model was implemented in finite element analyses and ductile crack growth simulations were performed for each bending test. Then, it was shown that the proposed model could accurately predict ductile crack growth resistance from machined notch root and fatigue pre-crack tip (R-curves) and the validity and applicability of proposed damage model to cracked components could be confirmed.

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