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Single parameter characterisation of the crack/notch tip field using fracture mechanics parameters like K, J or CTOD has been extremely powerful in advancing predictive technologies for critical or sub-critical crack growth. It has also become clear over the last 40 years that single parameter approaches have limitations particularly in dealing with crack growth phenomena arising from crack tip shielding, often resulting from the plastic enclave surrounding a crack. Influences of this enclave on the crack tip stress field ahead of the crack are maximised during cyclic loading. In the case of a parameter like stress intensity factor, K, which characterises the crack tip field via an elastic approximation, it is not surprising that any set of plasticity-induced circumstances which perturb the size of the plastic enclave and its associated strain field lead to predictive difficulties. Over the last 30 years, notable areas of activity related to such difficulties include short cracks, plasticity-induced closure, variable amplitude and multiaxial loading and notch effects. Thus an increasing number of authors and research groups, particularly in Europe, are working on the topic of characterisation of crack tips using more than one fracture mechanics parameter. Attention has been directed, for example, towards incorporating the T-stress into life prediction methods. The T-stress is the second term in a Williams-type expansion of the crack tip stresses and it affects the extent and shape of crack tip plasticity. It would therefore be expected to be influential in plasticity-related crack growth phenomena and a number of publications have demonstrated this to be true. The situation is further complicated where a crack experiences multiaxial loading and Mode II and III fracture mechanics parameters are also necessary. Alongside this, new analytical models have been proposed and advanced experimental techniques allow greatly improved measurement of 2D and 3D fields associated with the crack tip zone. Very successful workshops on this topic have been held in Forni di Sopra, Udine, Italy in March 2011 and Málaga, Andalusia, Spain in April 2013. The organisers of this unique workshop believe that crack tip characterisation under load will benefit from opportunities for invited research scientists and engineers to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas related to characterisation of crack/notch tip fields in an informal, interactive format at a conference venue in a beautifully scenic Italian city.

Workshop Papers

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Submitted conference papers will be peer reviewed for publication in a special issue of Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale, the International Journal of the Italian Group of Fracture (indexed in Scopus).


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This research workshop is intended to promote discussion and the free exchange of ideas in an area of considerable interest to the fields of fracture and fatigue; namely the characterisation of crack tip fields and, in particular, to consider the issue of more accurate multiparameter characterisation, often using a number of simultaneous sophisticated experimental techniques to validate analytical advances. Invited participants will be expected to prepare a 20 minute presentation on a topic of close relevance to the workshop theme, and significant time will be devoted to discussing the ideas presented to identify fruitful avenues for future work and collaboration. Joint Special Issues of FFEMS and IJ Fatigue are planned to contain selected papers which have been extended taking account of the workshop discussions and then peer reviewed. In the light of the success of the previous special issues, it is anticipated that this workshop series will continue to make a significant to future work and discussion in this important area.


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Abstracts: 1 November 2014
Conference Papers: 1 March 2015

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