In this paper a new finite element (FE) formulation to simulate embedded strong discontinuity for the study of the fracture process in brittle or quasi-brittle solids is presented. A homogeneous discontinuity is considered to be present in a cracked finite element with the possibility to take into account the opening and the sliding phenomena which can occur across the crack faces. In such a context a new simple stress-based implementation of the discontinuous displacement field is proposed by an appropriate stress field correction introduced at the Gauss points level in order to simulate, in a fashion typical of an elastic–plastic classical FE formulation, the mechanical effects of the bridging and friction stresses due to crack faces opening and sliding which can occur during the loading–unloading process structural component or solid being analysed. The proposed formulation does not need to introduce special or modified shape functions to reproduce discontinuous displacement field but simply relaxes the stress field in an appropriate fashion. Both linear elastic and elastic–plastic behaviour of the non-cracked material can be considered. Several 2D problems are presented and solved by the proposed procedure in order to predict load–displacement curves of brittle structures as well as crack patterns that develop during the loading process. The proposed discontinuous new FE formulation gives the advantages to be simple, computationally economic and to keep internal continuity of the numerical FE model; furthermore the developed algorithm can be easily implemented in standard FE programs as a standard plasticity model.
A new discontinuous FE formulation for crack path prediction in brittle solids / BRIGHENTI R.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES. - ISSN 0020-7683. - 45(2008), pp. 6501-6517. [10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2008.08.008]