2006 Volume 49 Issue 3 Pages 411-417
The thickness effect of a three-point-bend (3PB) specimen on dimple fracture behavior is studied experimentally and numerically. At first, fracture toughness tests were conducted using 3PB specimens of different thicknesses. Fracture toughness values and R-curves are obtained, and the thickness effect is discussed. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dimple fracture surfaces are observed precisely. It is found that the thickness effect appears clearly in the void growth process. Finite element (FEM) analyses are conducted based on these experimental data. Using Gurson’s constitutive equation, the nucleation and growth of voids during the dimple fracture process are simulated. The distribution patterns of stress triaxiality and the crack growth process are obtained. The results show a good agreement with experimental ones qualitatively. The effects of specimen thickness on R-curves are explained well on the basis of these numerical simulations.