Investigation of distortion-induced fatigue cracked welded details using 3D crack propagation analysis
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2014

The behaviour of distortion-induced fatigue cracks in welded details in an existing bridge was studied analytically by performing crack propagation analysis based on linear elastic fracture mechanics. The real load history of the bridge was obtained from strain measurements. These loads were utilised to examine the crack growth rate and the residual service life of the cracked detail. Moreover, the effectiveness, accuracy and applicability of the crack propagation analysis on bridge structures were investigated by simulating a complex case of fatigue cracking using several crack propagation analyses. The results of the analyses revealed that the fatigue crack in the studied details had significantly different crack growth characteristics in different directions. In the thickness direction, for instance, the crack was seen to propagate at a certain rate, which increased with the propagated crack from the beginning and, as expected, the crack propagation rate decreased when the crack grew longer. The crack was subsequently arrested half way through the thickness of the plate. In the longitudinal direction, the crack was not, however, arrested in the same way as in the thickness direction and it continued to propagate at a reduced yet constant crack growth rate. The results also revealed that, even though distortion-induced fatigue cracking was usually caused by a mixed-mode condition (i.e. a combination of modes I, II and III), the governing propagation mode is still mode I. Furthermore, it was also observed that the contribution of modes II and III to crack propagation was very little and dependent on the location of the propagated crack front, as well as the geometrical configuration of the cross-beam. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Distortion-induced fatigue cracking

Crack growth rate


Mixed mode conditions


Out-of-plane distortion

Crack propagation analysis


Mustafa Aygül

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Konstruktionsteknik

Mohammad Al-Emrani

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Konstruktionsteknik

Z. Barsoum

The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Khalifa University of Science and Technology

John Leander

The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

International Journal of Fatigue

0142-1123 (ISSN)

Vol. 64 54-66