Cohesive-zone models, higher-order continuum theories and reliability methods for computational failure analysis

R. Borst, de, M.A. Gutiérrez, G.N. Wells, J.J.C. Remmers, H. Askes

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    86 Citations (Scopus)


    A concise overview is given of various numerical methods that can be used to analyse localization and failure in engineering materials. The importance of the cohesive-zone approach is emphasized and various ways to incorporate the cohesive-zone methodology in discretization methods are discussed. Numerical representations of cohesive-zone models suffer from a certain mesh bias. For discrete representations this is caused by the initial mesh design, while for smeared representations it is rooted in the ill-posedness of the rate boundary value problem that arises upon the introduction of decohesion. A proper representation of the discrete character of cohesive-zone formulations which avoids any mesh bias can be obtained elegantly when exploiting the partition-of-unity property of finite element shape functions. The effectiveness of the approach is demonstrated for some examples at different scales. Moreover, examples are shown how this concept can be used to obtain a proper transition from a plastifying or damaging continuum to a shear band with gross sliding or to a fully open crack (true discontinuum). When adhering to a continuum description of failure, higher-order continuum models must be used. Meshless methods are ideally suited to assess the importance of the higher-order gradient terms, as will be shown. Finally, regularized strain-softening models are used in finite element reliability analyses to quantify the probability of the emergence of various possible failure modes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-315
    JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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