Cracking dams intro

Advanced level intro
Case Histories
Site Map

What are the results of a computer simulation?

This is what the model might look like after the program has grown the crack. The tips of the cracks have moved to where you see the blue patches.

This is called a stress contour. A stress contour shows how much stress the structure is feeling in different places by using different colors.

Stress is the application of force over an area:
S = F/A

One example of a computer simulation program for cracking is a "FRacture ANalysis Code" called FRANC2D (#) which was written and developed at Cornell University (#) by the Cornell Fracture Group (#). There is also a 3d version called FRANC3D (#) which will analyze three-dimensional crack growth in structures.

Civil engineers often use programs like FRANC to run simulations.

What kinds of things have been analyzed with FRANC2D and FRANC3D? Just about everything that cracks. Here are some examples:

analysis of the pavement in sidewalks and streets in 2d
analysis of a helicopter gear in 3d
material for high-speed airplanes
analysis of a leg bone
arch dams
gravity dams

As you can see, fracture mechanics can be applied to many different subjects, which makes it very inter-disciplinary. This means that many different fields can make use of fracture mechanics, including biomechanics, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, hydraulic engineering, and many more.

Who are the people who have developed the concepts of fracture mechanics and the computer programs to use them?

Crack propagation A history of fracture mechanics