A Numerical Investigation of an Abnormal Phenomenon of Stress Intensity Factor (SIF) in a Cracked T-Butt Joint Accounting for Welding Effect

Matteo Schiaretti, Jie Cai*, Xiaoli Jiang, Shengming Zhang, Dingena Schott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Industry design standards such as BS 7910 deployed some empirical formulas for the prediction of stress intensity factor (SIF) based on simulation results from traditional finite element method (FEM). However, such FEM simulation occasionally failed to convince people due to the large discrepancies compared with engineering practice. As a consequence, inaccuracy predictions via such formulas in engineering standards inevitably occur, which will compromise the safety of structures. In our previous research work, an abnormal phenomenon of SIF in a cracked T-butt joint accounting for welding effect has been observed. Compared with BS 7910, the calculation results of SIF at the surface points of welded specimens cannot be well predicted, with a large discrepancy appearing. In order to explore such problem with an abnormal increase at the surface points of cracked welded specimens, a numerical investigation in terms of SIF among BS 7910, XFEM, and FEM is performed in this paper. Numerical models on both a simple cracked plate without welding effect and a cracked T-butt joint with welding effect are developed through ABAQUS. Parametric studies in terms of the effects of varied crack depth to thickness ratio (a/T) and the effects of crack depth to crack half-length ratio (a/c) are carried out. Empirical solutions from BS 7910 are used for comparison. It is found that the XFEM can provide predictions of SIF at both the crack deepest point and crack surface point of a simple cracked plate as accurate as FEM. For a T-butt joint with a transverse stiffener, a large discrepancy in terms of the weld magnification factors (Mk) occurs at the crack surface point compared with empirical predictions. An exceptional increase of von Mises stress gradient in regions close to the weld-toe is found through the simulation of FEM, whereas a constant stress gradient is obtained through XFEM. The comparison results indicate an inappropriate prediction of SIF by the utilization of the empirical formulas in BS 7910. A more reasonable prediction of the SIF at the surface point of a crack is obtained by the XFEM. Therefore, further updating of the empirical solutions in BS 7910 for SIF accounting for welding effect is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-353
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Application
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • BS 7910
  • Crack
  • Extended finite element method (XFEM)
  • Finite element method (FEM)
  • Stress intensity factor (SIF)
  • T-butt joint


Dive into the research topics of 'A Numerical Investigation of an Abnormal Phenomenon of Stress Intensity Factor (SIF) in a Cracked T-Butt Joint Accounting for Welding Effect'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this