Finite element analysis of the fatigue crack growth rate in transformation toughening ceramics

P. Vena, D. Gastaldi, R. Contro, L. Petrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The fatigue crack growth rate in the zirconia tetragonal polycrystal is analyzed through the finite element method. In order to achieve this purpose, a continuum based constitutive law for materials subjected to phase transformations has been suitably implemented into a commercial finite element code. The fatigue crack growth in a notched beam, subjected to a cyclic four points bending load, has been investigated through a sensitivity analyses with respect to the two most relevant constitutive parameters: one accounting for the amount of the transformation strain and one accounting for the activation energy threshold. The fatigue crack growth rate typical of transforming materials is characterized by two distinct stages: at the beginning of the crack propagation process, the crack growth rate exhibits a negative dependency on the applied stress intensity factor; thereafter, a linear positive dependency is observed. This two stage process is well caught by the finite element model presented in this paper. Moreover, the response of the computational analyses has shown that the strength of the transformation process is determinant for the crack growth process to be arrested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-920
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Plasticity
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Fatigue
  • Finite element method
  • Stress intensity factor
  • Transformation toughening
  • Zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Finite element analysis of the fatigue crack growth rate in transformation toughening ceramics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this