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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 12, Number 3, September 2013, pages 261-283

A local-global scheme for tracking crack path in three-dimensional solids
O.L. Manzoli, G.K.S. Claro, E.A. Rodrigues and J.A. Lopes Jr.

    This paper aims to contribute to the three-dimensional generalization of numerical prediction of crack propagation through the formulation of finite elements with embedded discontinuities. The analysis of crack propagation in two-dimensional problems yields lines of discontinuity that can be tracked in a relatively simple way through the sequential construction of straight line segments oriented according to the direction of failure within each finite element in the solid. In three-dimensional analysis, the construction of the discontinuity path is more complex because it requires the creation of plane surfaces within each element, which must be continuous between the elements. In the method proposed by Chaves (2003) the crack is determined by solving a problem analogous to the heat conduction problem, established from local failure orientations, based on the stress state of the mechanical problem. To minimize the computational effort, in this paper a new strategy is proposed whereby the analysis for tracking the discontinuity path is restricted to the domain formed by some elements near the crack surface that develops along the loading process. The proposed methodology is validated by performing three-dimensional analyses of basic problems of experimental fractures and comparing their results with those reported in the literature.
Key Words
    embedded crack element; fracture; three-dimensional analysis; crack path
O.L. Manzoli, G.K.S. Claro, E.A. Rodrigues and J.A. Lopes Jr.: Department of Civil Engineering, Univ Estadual Paulista - UNESP, Av. Luiz Edmundo C. Coube,14-01, 17033-360, Bauru, SP, Brazil

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