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Numerical modelling of cracked engineering materials under dynamic loading

School of Engineering

About the Project

It is common knowledge that all existing structural materials contain various inter- and intra-component cracks and crack-like defects which appear in materials during fabrication or in-service. The presence of structural defects considerably decreases the strength and the reliability of materials.

Under deformation the opposite faces of the existing cracks interact with each other, altering significantly the stress fields near the crack tips. It takes on special significance for the case of high rate deformations as found in impact and high-frequency dynamics, which covers an extremely wide range of situations, where the contact interaction can change the response substantially. Unfortunately, due to the non-linearity of the problem and substantial computational difficulties, even in the simplest case of isotropic homogeneous body, the overwhelming majority of studies neglect the contact interaction of crack faces in spite of its evident significance. In the case of heterogeneous materials, solutions taking the contact interaction into account are non-existent.

This project will start a new direction in fracture mechanics leading to reassessment of the traditional understanding of strength and fracture of cracked materials under dynamic loading. It will be an interdisciplinary work focused on fracture mechanics problems for cracked heterogeneous materials under impact and high-frequency harmonic loading. Special attention will be paid to the effect of the crack faces contact interaction.

The overall aim of the project is the reassessment of dynamic stress intensity factors for cracked materials under dynamic loading taking the crack closure into account.

The main objectives are:

1. Development of a robust numerical methodology for tackling the contact problems, including development of the iterative solution algorithms.
2. Extensive parametric analysis of the problem.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) the UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Engineering, Materials or Applied Mathematics. It is essential that the applicant has a background in Fundamentals of Engineering Materials and Stress Analysis
Numerical Methods.

The project is likely to involve a combination of analytical studies and computer modelling including FEM&BEM analysis and MatLab programming, so the appropriate computing skills would be quite beneficial but not compulsory.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr O Menshykov (), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

It is possible to undertake this project by distance learning. Interested parties should contact Dr Menshykov to discuss this.

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Engineering The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT


1. Menshykova MV, Menshykov OV, Guz IA, Wuensche M, Zhang Ch. A boundary integral equation methods in the frequency domain for cracks under transient loading, Acta Mechanica, 2016, 227(11): 3305-3314.
2. Menshykova MV, Menshykov OV, Guz IA. An iterative BEM for the dynamic analysis of interface crack contact problems, Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements, 2011, 35: 735-749.
3. Menshykov OV, Menshykova MV, Guz IA. Effect of friction of the crack faces for a linear crack under an oblique harmonic loading, International Journal of Engineering Science, 2008, 46: 438–458

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