Combination of fracture and damage mechanics for numerical failure analysis

J.C.W. Vroonhoven, van, R. Borst, de

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A new approach for the analysis of crack propagation in brittle materials is proposed, which is based on a combination of fracture mechanics and continuum damage mechanics within the context of the finite element method. The approach combines the accuracy of singular crack-tip elements from fracture mechanics theories with the flexibility of crack representation by softening zones in damage mechanics formulations. A super element is constructed in which the typical elements ape joined together. The crack propagation is decided on either of two fracture criteria; one criterion is based on the energy release rate or the J-integral, the other on the largest principal stress in the crack-tip region. Contrary to many damage mechanics methods, the combined fracture/damage approach is not sensitive to variations in the finite element division. Applications to situations of mixed-mode crack propagation in both two- and three-dimensional problems reveal that the calculated crack paths are independent of the element size and the element orientation and are accurate within one element from the theoretical (curvilinear) crack paths, (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1169-1191
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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