Configurational-force interface model for brittle fracture propagation

Khisamitov, I. and Meschke, G.

Volume: 351 Pages: 351-378
DOI: 10.1016/j.cma.2019.03.029
Published: 2019

This paper proposes a numerical model for the simulation of fracture propagation in brittle materials based on the theory of configurational forces. Configurational forces are adopted as the driving force for fracture in association with a tensile stretch criterion to identify crack tips of propagating cracks. Fracture surfaces are approximated by zero-thickness interface elements embedded into the finite element mesh between the bulk elements in the entire domain. In order to eliminate the mesh bias in regards to the fracture pattern, a new fracture segment is allowed to grow along several interface elements at once. The minimal fracture surface is found using an algorithm based on Graph Theory. The solution strategy is explicit, and the fracture path using this algorithm is identified in a post-processing step. The proposed configurational interface model (CIM) for fracture is validated by the analytical solution for a mode I benchmark and by comparisons with results from a variety of laboratory experiments on cylindrical granite specimens containing one and two initial cracks at different angles, which are characterized by complex curved and partially irregular crack patterns. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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