Advanced applications of finite element creep continuum damage mechanics

D. W. J. Tanner, T. H. Hyde, W Sun, A.A. Becker, C. J. Hyde, M. Saber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


The most accurate life assessment models make use of the finite element (FE) method in conjunction with experimental testing, which is necessary to derive material behaviour parameters and to validate the lifing models. Small-scale models are developed first to compare with laboratory tests then full complex structures can be modelled to predict the lifespan of a real structure operating under realistic conditions.

Two general approaches are often used for creep failure modelling using FE analysis: simplified methods based on steady-state formulations, and the more complex, continuum damage mechanics (CDM) method. An example of the former would be to use a simple steady-state (Norton) power law creep behaviour model to determine the peak stress for input into a life fraction rule (or similar) to calculate the approximate creep life.

Creep continuum damage material behaviour models are capable of characterizing tertiary creep deformation that leads to fracture and are based on the concepts of Kachanov. They allow the time evolution of creep strain rate and damage, and the associated stress redistribution.

Over the last 20+ years, research into high temperature creep, continuum damage mechanics, FE analysis has been carried out at The University of Nottingham. This paper provides a current overview of the method and material models employed. The extensive capability of FE creep damage analysis is shown through recent examples of different advanced applications, including creep crack growth modelling and an aero engine structure life assessment case study. Multi-material analyses used for predicting the failure time and failure location of welded test specimens and components such as pipe welds are also demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication9th International Conference on Creep and Fatigue at Elevated Temperatures
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event9th International Conference on Creep and Fatigue at Elevated Temperatures - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Sep 201227 Sep 2012


Conference9th International Conference on Creep and Fatigue at Elevated Temperatures
CountryUnited Kingdom

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