Fracture mechanics analysis is essential for demonstrating structural integrity of gas turbine components. Usually, analyses based on simpler 2D stress intensity solutions provide reasonable approximations of crack growth. However, in some cases, simpler 2D solutions are too-conservative and does not provide realistic crack growth predictions; often due to its inability to account for actual 3D geometry, and complex thermal-mechanical stress fields. In such cases, 3D fracture mechanics analysis provides extra fidelity to crack growth predictions due to increased accuracy of the stress intensity factor calculations. Improved fidelity often leads to benefits for gas turbine components by reducing design margins, improving engine efficiency, and decreasing life cycle costs.

In this paper, the application of 3D fracture mechanics analysis on a gas turbine blade for predicting crack arrest is presented. A comparison of stress intensity factor values from 3D and 2D analysis is also shown. The 3D crack growth analysis was performed by using FRANC3D in conjunction with ANSYS.

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