Fatigue crack growth in anisotropic aluminium sheets — phase-field modelling and experimental validation

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Fatigue crack growth is decisive for the design of thin-walled structures such as fuselage shells of air planes. The cold rolling process, used to produce the aluminium sheets this structure is made of, leads to anisotropic mechanical properties. In this contribution, we simulate the fatigue crack growth with a phase-field model due to its superior ability to model arbitrary crack paths. A fatigue variable based on the Local Strain Approach describes the progressive weakening of the crack resistance. Anisotropy regarding the fracture toughness is included through a structural tensor in the crack surface density. The model is parameterised for an aluminium AA2024-T351 sheet material. Validation with a set of experiments shows that the fitted model can reproduce key characteristics of a growing fatigue crack, including crack path direction and growth rate, considering the rolling direction.


Original languageEnglish
Article number107874
JournalInternational Journal of Fatigue
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-3358-1545/work/142237197
Scopus 85168000753
Mendeley f21f1b23-be6b-3fff-8d3d-aaa1d24c4a21



  • Aluminium sheets, Anisotropy, Fatigue crack growth, Fracture, Phase-field