International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 189, Issue 2, pp 195–216 | Cite as

Finite element simulations of notch tip fields in magnesium single crystals

Original Paper


Recent experiments using three point bend specimens of Mg single crystals have revealed that tensile twins of \(\{10\bar{1}2\}\)-type form profusely near a notch tip and enhance the fracture toughness through large plastic dissipation. In this work, 3D finite element simulations of these experiments are carried out using a crystal plasticity framework which includes slip and twinning to gain insights on the mechanics of fracture. The predicted load–displacement curves, slip and tensile twinning activities from finite element analysis corroborate well with the experimental observations. The numerical results are used to explore the 3D nature of the crack tip stress, plastic slip and twin volume fraction distributions near the notch root. The occurrence of tensile twinning is rationalized from the variation of normal stress ahead of the notch tip. Further, deflection of the crack path at twin–twin intersections observed in the experiments is examined from an energy standpoint by modeling discrete twins close to the notch root.


Notch tip fields Twinning Crystal plasticity  Finite elements Magnesium single crystals 



The authors gratefully acknowledge General Motors Research and Development Centre, Warren, Michigan, USA, for financial support through the sponsored project GM/IISC/SID/PC20037. R.N. would like to thank the Department of Science and Technology (Government of India) for the JC Bose Fellowship scheme. The authors also wish to thank Mr. N.S. Prasad for helping with the simulations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.General Motors CompanyWarrenUSA

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