Experimental and numerical analysis of fatigue behaviour for tubular K-joints
In this paper, a full-scale K-joint specimen was tested to failure under cyclic combined axial and in-plane bending loads. In the fatigue test, the crack developments were monitored step by step using the alternating current potential drop (ACPD) technique. Using Paris' law, stress intensity factor, which is a fracture parameter to be frequently used by many designers to predict the integrity and residual life of tubular joints, can be obtained from experimental test results of the crack growth rate. Furthermore, a scheme of automatic mesh generation for a cracked K-joint is introduced, and numerical analysis of stress intensity factor for the K-joint specimen has then been carried out. In the finite element analysis, J-integral method is used to estimate the stress intensity factors along the crack front. The numerical stress intensity factor results have been validated through comparing them with the experimental results. The comparison shows that the proposed numerical model can produce reasonably accurate stress intensity factor values. The effects of different crack shapes on the stress intensity factors have also been investigated, and it has been found that semi-ellipse is suitable and accurate to be adopted in numerical analysis for the stress intensity factor. Therefore, the proposed model in this paper is reliable to be used for estimating the stress intensity factor values of cracked tubular K-joints for design purposes.
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