A local remeshing procedure to simulate crack propagation in quasi-brittle materials

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    – The purpose of this paper is to present a new simplified local remeshing procedure for the study of discrete crack propagation in finite element (FE) mesh. The proposed technique accounts for the generation and propagation of crack‐like failure within an FE‐model. Beside crack propagation, the technique enables the analysis of fragmentation of initially intact continuum. The capability of modelling fragmentation is essential in various structure‐structure interaction analyses such as projectile impact analysis and ice‐structure interaction analysis.
    – The procedure combines continuum damage mechanics (CDM), fictitious crack approach and a new local remeshing procedure. In the approach a fictitious crack is replaced by a discrete crack by applying delete‐and‐fill local remeshing. The proposed method is independent of mesh topology unlike the traditional discrete crack approach. The procedure is implemented for 3‐D solid elements in commercial finite element software Abaqus/Explicit using Python scripting. The procedure is completely automated, such that crack initiation and propagation analyses do not require user intervention. A relatively simple constitutive model was implemented strictly for demonstrative purposes.
    – Well known examples were simulated to verify the applicability of the method. The simulations revealed the capabilities of the method and reasonable correspondence with reference results was obtained. Material fragmentation was successfully simulated in ice‐structure interaction analysis.
    – The procedure for modelling discrete crack propagation and fragmentation of initially intact quasi‐brittle materials based on local remeshing has not been presented previously. The procedure is well suited for simulation of fragmentation and is implemented in a commercial FE‐software.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-143
    JournalEngineering Computations
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • mechanical properties of materials
    • brittleness
    • structures
    • simulation
    • crack propagation
    • local remeshing
    • smeared crack
    • fictitious crack
    • fragmentation
    • cohesive model


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