Title page for ETD etd-11142005-125954

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Alam, Mohammad Shah
URN etd-11142005-125954
Title Structural Integrity and Fatigue Crack Propagation Life Assessment of Welded and Weld-Repaired Structures
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
M. A. Wahab Committee Chair
Ayman M. Okeil Committee Member
Michael M. Khonsari Committee Member
Su-Seng Pang Committee Member
Yitshak M. Ram Committee Member
Annette Summers Engel Dean's Representative
  • weld defects
  • surface potential
  • interface element
  • gas metal arc welding
  • finite element method
Date of Defense 2005-10-28
Availability unrestricted
Structural integrity is the science and technology of the margin between safety and disaster. Proper evaluation of the structural integrity and fatigue life of any structure (aircraft, ship, railways, bridges, gas and oil transmission pipelines, etc.) is important to ensure the public safety, environmental protection, and economical consideration. Catastrophic failure of any structure can be avoided if structural integrity is assessed and necessary precaution is taken appropriately.

Structural integrity includes tasks in many areas, such as structural analysis, failure analysis, nondestructive testing, corrosion, fatigue and creep analysis, metallurgy and materials, fracture mechanics, fatigue life assessment, welding metallurgy, development of repairing technologies, structural monitoring and instrumentation etc. In this research fatigue life assessment of welded and weld-repaired joints is studied both in numerically and experimentally.

A new approach for the simulation of fatigue crack growth in two elastic materials has been developed and specifically, the concept has been applied to butt-welded joint in a straight plate and in tubular joints. In the proposed method, the formation of new surface is represented by an interface element based on the interface potential energy. This method overcomes the limitation of crack growth at an artificial rate of one element length per cycle. In this method the crack propagates only when the applied load reaches the critical bonding strength. The predicted results compares well with experimental results.

The Gas Metal Arc welding processes has been simulated to predict post-weld distortion, residual stresses and development of restraining forces in a butt-welded joint. The effect of welding defects and bi-axial interaction of a circular porosity and a solidification crack on fatigue crack propagation life of butt-welded joints has also been investigated.

After a weld has been repaired, the specimen was tested in a universal testing machine in order to determine fatigue crack propagation life. The fatigue crack propagation life of weld-repaired specimens was compared to un-welded and as-welded specimens. At the end of fatigue test, samples were cut from the fracture surfaces of typical welded and weld-repaired specimens and are examined under Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and characteristics features from these micrographs are explained.

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