EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G042705/1
Title: Increased Reliability for Industrially Relevant Automatic Crack Growth Simulation with the eXtended Finite Element Method
Principal Investigator: Bordas, Professor SPA
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
inuTech GmbH Robert Bosch GmbH Rolls-Royce Plc (UK)
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: Cardiff University
Scheme: First Grant Scheme
Starts: 28 April 2010 Ends: 27 April 2014 Value (£): 459,243
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Eng. Dynamics & Tribology Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Feb 2009 Materials Prioritisation Panel (Feb 2009) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project will deliver new computational modelling tools that will allow engineers working onsafety critical structures to rationally assess the effects of crack initiation and crack propagation. Suchproblems have to date remained intractable. The research will permit unprecedented understanding of crackpropagation, thereby delivering less conservative designs, and, most importantly avoid unpredictedcatastrophic failures in service. This is possible by building upon the recent success of the extended finite elementmethod (XFEM), which has emerged as a revolutionary simulation tool for modelling discontinuities and has the potential to require an order of magnitude less engineering time than conventional methods.Yet, this new method requires much reliability improvements to invade industry. By leveraging recent theoreticaland numerical developments and working hand-in-hand with future users, this project has the potential toprovide XFEM with the accuracy and robustness it requires to become the new tool of choice for structuralintegrity predictions and reconcile accuracy and computational tractability.Cracks or defects are almost always present in engineering structures. In aerospace engineering for instance, during the life of the aircraft (take offs, flights and landings), these cracks will grow under the influence of the forces applied to the structure. How do engineers ensure that, despite these growing cracks, the aircraft can still be operated safely? The idea is to regularly inspect the aircraft to monitor the major cracks. The next question is to know how often should an aircraft be inspected to prevent catastrophic failure between two inspections. To answer this question, engineers must be able to evaluate the time (number of flights) it takes for the cracks to become fatal to the structure. If it takes 1,000 flights, the maximum inspection interval should be less than 1,000. To estimate the time to failure, engineers use computer methods, where they model the behaviour of the structure using various simplifications: this is known as Damage Tolerance Analysis (DTA).However, today, existing software are still unable to provide engineers with a rational tool to assess the tolerance of a structure to damage. The proposed research has the long-term goal to provide this tool which could provide a paradigm shift in the way engineers think about simulating fracture, whereby sufficient accuracy would not be synonymous with intractable computational time or manpower.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cf.ac.uk