Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Hanson


This thesis considers how cracks in an elastic body can alter the body’s elastic properties. In the present study the elastic property of note is the elastic or young’s modulus. It is desired to investigate to what extent the number and orientation of cracks can cause a reduction in the elastic modulus. Because of the complex nature of the elastic fields resulting from multiple cracks interacting together in a finite geometry an analytical solution is not possible or considered. Rather the Finite Element Method is used to determine the elastic response to a body with many cracks. This provides a convenient mechanism to study the complex crack geometries and interactions that are currently analyzed. The present study considers purely elastic deformation and uses Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) where necessary. The goal here is not to calculate the typical Stress Intensity Factors (SIF) of an elastic crack analysis but rather to predict how the presence of multiple interacting cracks of various sizes and configurations will possibly reduce the elastic modulus. Previous research has produced limited definitive results on this topic and the present study attempts to provide some significant concrete data on the elastic modulus reduction if it occurs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)