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NERSC Initiative for Scientific Exploration (NISE) 2009 Awards

Fatigue Fracture in the Polycrystalline Microstructures of Metallic Alloys

Michael Veilleux, Cornell University

Sponsoring NERSC Project: Explicit finite element simulation of microstructurally small fatigue crack propagation in aluminum alloy 7075-T651 (m952), Principal Investigator: Michael Veilleux, Cornell University

NISE Award: 500,000 Hours
Award Date: October 2009

Polycrhstalline Microstructure

This research is in the "research area of code scaling to higher concurrencies", one of the three research areas of the NERSC Initiative for Scientific Exploration. The code to be investigated is Finite Element All-Wheel Drive (FEAWD), a non-linear finite element solver. FEAWD is an academic application developed by Gerd Heber of the Cornell Fracture Group (, which is being augmented by this project's PI to optimally model fatigue fracture in the polycrystalline microstructures of metallic alloys. The 2009 NERSC Startup Allocation for this project has focused on compiling and optimizing FEAWD on NERSC's Franklin cluster. The code has demonstrated the ability to scale up to 512 processors on Franklin. However, an additional allocation is requested to test scaling to 1024 and 2048 processors, such that production-level computations can be performed. The production-level models will have approximately 20 million non-linear equations, which must be solved iteratively, up to 10,000 iterations per simulation. In addition to the scaling tests being performed, checkpointing will be tested at the larger scales and a production-level model will be analyzed to demonstrate all capabilities.