The Application of Fracture Mechanics to Ice Problems
Linear elastic fracture mechanics concerns the application of crack tip characterizing parameters to the study of instability phenomena of cracked bodies. These parameters are G, the strain energy release rate, K, the stress intensification factor, and CTOD, the crack tip opening displacement. Successful applications are associated with brittle fracture studies and fatigue crack propagation in metals when plasticity is limited. For non-linear elastic behaviour of crack tip material the J contour integral is an improved parameter.
None of these parameters however quantify the propagation of cracks, rather they are concerned with the initiation situation; cf. the relation between yield point and plastic flow behaviour of materials. Thus G, K, CTOD and J do not quantify stable crack growth although they have been used as characterizing parameters for crack growth in ductile materials. The difficulty in the quantification of crack initiation and growth are the roles played by plasticity, time dependent deformation and differing fracture processes and recent developments have centred on C* and a crack growth parameter G∆.
All of these parameters will be briefly reviewed and their relevance to the fracture of ice outlined both from a theoretical and an experimental viewpoint.
KeywordsFracture Toughness Stress Intensity Factor Plastic Zone Strain Energy Release Rate Plastic Zone Size
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