Published in Engineering Fracture Mechanics Vol. 77 (13), pp. 2431-2450, 2010
This work presents a procedure to simulate the growth and propagation of localized tensile cracks on quasi-brittle materials. The so-called smeared damage approach, which consists in standard finite elements and local nonlinear constitutive laws, is recovered and improved in order to represent crack localization and avoid spurious mesh-bias dependence in the discrete problem. This is achieved by means of the implementation of a local crack-tracking algorithm which can reproduce individual (discrete) cracks and ensure objectivity of the finite element problem solution. The performance of the localized damage model is stressed by means of the analyses of structural case-studies. Compared to the Smeared Crack Approach in its original form, the presented procedure shows clearly a better capacity to predict realistic collapse mechanisms. The proposed tracking technique is relatively inexpensive.
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