Phase field modeling of brittle fracture in an Euler–Bernoulli beam accounting for transverse part-through cracks

Author (s): Lai, W.; Gao, J.; Li, Y.; Arroyo, M.; Shen, Y.
Journal: Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering

Volume: 361
Date: 2020

We present a phase field model to simulate brittle fracture in an initially straight Euler–Bernoulli beam, with generalization to curved beams. We start from formulating the problem with the principle of minimum potential energy in a 3D solid, with the displacement field and the phase field as primary arguments. We then select, for each cross section, representative fields that characterize the said cross section, including the beam deflection and rotation, and two independent ansatz variables within the cross section to represent the phase field. The problem then reduces to a minimization with only one-dimensional field variables. A feature of the proposed method is, without discretizing the phase field within the cross section, it can represent its variation within the cross section, allowing to simulate cracks partially going through the thickness due to bending as well as axial loads.