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Fracture analysis of internally cracked railheads
This paper presents a semi-analytical two-dimensional method for the fracture analysis of railheads containing internal cracks. The boundaries of the railhead and internal cracks are modelled by continuous distribution of dislocations. This approach provides a system of singular integral equations that are reduced to normal algebraic equations first and then solved numerically to obtain the dislocation distribution functions along the crack surfaces and the boundaries. Stress intensity factors associated with the internal cracks are then calculated and analysed. This method has provided numerical results that compare well with the finite element solutions. The advantage of the method is realised that it does not require any meshing including idealisation of the shape of the cracks and/ or the boundary. The potential sources of errors in using the current method is also presented.