A continuous-discontinuous model for crack branching

Author (s): Tamayo-Mas, E; Feliu-Fabà, J.; Casado-Antolin, M. and Rodríguez-Ferran, A.
Journal: International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering

Volume: 120
Pages: 86 – 104
Date: 2019

A new continuous-discontinuous model for fracture that accounts for crack branching in a natural manner is presented. It combines a gradient-enhanced damage model based on non-local displacements to describe diffuse cracks and the extended finite element method (X-FEM) for sharp cracks. Its most distinct feature is a global crack tracking strategy based on the geometrical notion of medial axis: the sharp crack propagates following the direction dictated by the medial axis of a damage isoline. This means that, if the damage field branches, the medial axis automatically detects this bifurcation and a branching sharp crack is thus easily obtained. In contrast to other existing models, no special crack-tip criteria are required to trigger branching. Complex crack patterns may also be described with this approach, since the X-FEM enrichment of the displacement field can be recursively applied by adding one extra term at each branching event. The proposed approach is also equipped with a crack-fluid pressure, a relevant feature in applications such as hydraulic fracturing or leakage-related events. The capabilities of the model to handle propagation and branching of cracks are illustrated by means of different two-dimensional numerical examples.



@article {ETM-TMFFCARF:19,
Author = {Elena Tamayo-Mas and Jordi Feliu-Fab\`a and Montserrat Casado-Antolin and Antonio Rodr\’{\i}guez-Ferran},
Title = {A continuous-discontinuous model for crack branching},
Fjournal = {International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering},
Journal = {Int. J. Numer. Methods Eng.},
Volume = {120},
Number = {},
Pages = {86-104},
Year = {2019},
Doi = { 10.1002/nme.6125},