Published in International Journal of Solids and Structures Vol. 71 (1), pp. 19-38, 2015
Once strain localization occurs in softening solids, inelastic loading behavior is restricted within a narrow band while the bulk unloads elastically. Accordingly, localized failure in solids can be approached by embedding or smearing a traction-based inelastic discontinuity (band) within an (equivalent) elastic matrix along a specific orientation. In this context, the conformity of the strong/regularized and embedded/smeared discontinuity approaches are investigated, regarding the strategies dealing with the kinematics and statics. On one hand, the traction continuity condition imposed in weak form results in the strong and regularized discontinuity approaches, with respect to the approximation of displacement and strain discontinuities. In addition to the elastic bulk, consistent plastic-damage cohesive models for the discontinuities are established. The conformity between the strong discontinuity approach and its regularized counterpart is shown through the fracture energy analysis. On the other hand, the traction continuity condition can also be enforced point-wisely in strong form so that the standard principle of virtual work applies. In this case, the static constraint resulting from traction continuity can be used to eliminate the kinematic variable associated with the discontinuity (band) at the material level. This strategy leads to embedded and smeared discontinuity models for the overall weakened solid which can also be cast into the elastoplastic degradation framework with a different kinematic decomposition. Being equivalent to the kinematic constraint guaranteeing stress continuity upon strain localization, Mohr’s maximization postulate is adopted for the determination of the discontinuity orientation. Closed-form results are presented in plane stress conditions, with the classical Rankine, Mohr–Coulomb, von Mises and Drucker–Prager criteria as illustrative examples. The orientation of the discontinuity (band) and the stress-based failure criteria consistent with the given traction-based counterparts are derived. Finally, a generic failure criterion of either elliptic, parabolic or hyperbolic type, appropriate for the modeling of mixed-mode failure, is analyzed in a unified manner. Furthermore, a novel method is proposed to calibrate the involved mesoscopic parameters from available macroscopic test data, which is then validated against Willam’s numerical test.
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