Crack growth resistance of shape memory alloys by means of a cohesive zone model

Yuval Freed, Leslie Banks-Sills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Crack growth resistance of shape memory alloys (SMAs) is dominated by the transformation zone in the vicinity of the crack tip. In this study, the transformation toughening behavior of a slowly propagating crack in an SMA under plane strain conditions and mode I deformation is numerically investigated. A small-scale transformation zone is assumed. A cohesive zone model is implemented to simulate crack growth within a finite element scheme. Resistance curves are obtained for a range of parameters that specify the cohesive traction-separation constitutive law. It is found that the choice of the cohesive strength t0 has a great influence on the toughening behavior of the material. Moreover, the reversibility of the transformation can significantly reduce the toughening of the alloy. The shape of the initial transformation zone, as well as that of a growing crack is determined. The effect of the Young's moduli ratio of the martensite and austenite phases is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2180
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Finite elements
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Numerical algorithms
  • Phase transformation
  • Shape memory alloys


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