Model-driven fatigue crack characterization and growth prediction: A two-step, 3-D fatigue damage modeling framework for structural health monitoring

Lei Xu, Kai Wang, Xiongbin Yang, Yiyin Su, Jianwei Yang, Yaozhong Liao, Pengyu Zhou, Zhongqing Su

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Prevailing fatigue damage evaluation approaches that make use of the acoustic nonlinearity of guided ultrasonic waves (GUWs) are sustained by simplified models, most of which depict three-dimensional (3-D) fatigue damage in a two-dimensional (2-D) domain [1]. Such approximation risks the evaluation accuracy. With such motivation, this study aspires to a new, two-step modeling framework, aimed at accurately characterizing and continuously monitoring fatigue damage, from its embryonic initiation, through progressive growth to formation of macroscopic crack. In the first step, a 3-D, analytical model based on the theory of elastodynamics sheds light on the generation of contact acoustic nonlinearity in GUWs under the modulation of `breathing' behavior of a non-penetrating fatigue crack, on which basis a crack-area-dependent nonlinear damage index is yielded. In the second step, a 3-D fatigue crack growth model predicts the continuous growth of the identified fatigue crack in the length and depth along crack front. The framework is validated using numerical simulation, followed with experiment, in both of which the initiation and progressive growth of a real corner fatigue crack is monitored, with continuous prediction of the crack growth in length and depth. Results have demonstrated the accuracy and precision of the developed modeling framework for characterizing embryonic fatigue damage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106226
JournalInternational Journal of Mechanical Sciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2021


  • Contact acoustic nonlinearity
  • Crack growth
  • Fatigue crack
  • Non-penetrating crack
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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