A component or structure, which is designed to carry a single monotonically increasing application of static load, may fracture and fail if the same load or even smaller load is, applied cyclically a large number of times. Offshore oil exploration platform is a typical example for fatigue-affected structure due to repeated action of wave loads. Rails, ship hulls, aerospace structures and bridges are also affected by repeated loading due to their operating environment.
CSIR-SERC has gained expertise in the domain of fatigue and fracture over the years by carrying out several cutting-edge R&D projects and by offering the solutions for industries related to energy sectors, automobile applications, railways, aerospace applications, construction industry, etc. The centre has a full-fledged laboratory to carry out fatigue and fracture experiments on medium-size components of fatigue-sensitive structures. Many agencies have taken the help of the centre to experimentally evaluate the critical components of their structures. The centre has also expertise in development of analytical/numerical models for fatigue and fracture analysis of structural components. Recently, advanced numerical methodologies such as XFEM have been developed for fracture analysis of unstiffened and stiffened panels. Research on fatigue and fracture analysis of normal strength, high strength and ultra high strength concrete is also one of the core activities in this area.
Following are some of the major research activities carried out in the area of fatigue & fracture of structures:
- Fatigue and fracture assessment on large-size components of power plant and offshore structures
- Fatigue life evaluation of welded rail joints for ensuring safety of railway tracks
- Fatigue/fracture investigations on structural components under internal pressure, elevated temperature, torsion and bending and sub-zero temperature
- Ratcheting studies on stainless steel pipes and elbows
- Fracture behaviour prediction of bi-metallic pipe welded joints
- Determination of specific fracture energy and the corresponding tension softening relation including size effect for normal strength, high strength and ultra high strength concretes
- XFEM methodologies for fracture analysis of unstiffened and stiffened panels
- Damage tolerant evaluation of aircraft components under constant and variable amplitude fatigue loading
- Fracture analysis of plates and stiffened panels by numerically integrated MVCCI technique