An optimization-based phase-field method for continuous-discontinuous crack propagation

Author (s): Geelen, R.J.M.; Liu, Y.; Dolbow, J.E. and Rodríguez-Ferran, A.
Journal: International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering

Volume: 116, Issue 1
Pages: 1 – 20
Date: 2018

A new continuous-discontinuous strategy for the computational modeling of crack propagation within the context of phase-field models of fracture is presented. The method is designed to introduce and update a sharp crack surface within an evolving damage band, and to enhance the kinematics of the finite element approximation accordingly. The proposed approach relies on three key elements. First, we propose the use of a crack length functional to provide a trigger for initiating a continuous to discontinuous transition. Next, the crack path identification is addressed by introducing the concept of an auxiliary damage field that varies with an extension of the sharp crack surface. The sharp crack surface is extended through an optimization algorithm, in which the difference between the auxiliary field and the actual damage field stemming from the phase-field framework is minimized. Finally, a strong discontinuity is inserted in the wake of the diffuse crack tip with the eXtended Finite Element Method (X-FEM), completing the continuous to discontinuous transition. Several benchmark problems in two-dimensional quasi-static fracture mechanics are presented to demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the method.



@article {RG-GLDRF:18,
        Author = {Rudy J.M. Geelen and Y Liu and John E. Dolbow and Antonio Rodr\’{\i}guez-Ferran},
        Title = {An optimization-based phase-field method for continuous-discontinuous crack propagation},
        Fjournal = {International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering},
        Journal = {Int. J. Numer. Methods Eng.},
        Volume = {116},
        Number = {1},
        Pages = {1–20},
        Year = {2018},
        Doi = {10.1002/nme.5911},