This paper presents a finite element approach for modelling three-dimensional crack propagation in quasi-brittle materials, based on the strain injection and the crack-path field techniques. These numerical techniques were already tested and validated by static and dynamic simulations in 2D classical benchmarks [Dias et al., in: Monograph CIMNE No-134. International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Barcelona, (2012); Oliver et al. in Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng 274:289–348, (2014); Lloberas-Valls et al. in Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng 308:499–534, (2016)] and, also, for modelling tensile crack propagation in real concrete structures, like concrete gravity dams [Dias et al. in Eng Fract Mech 154:288–310, (2016)]. The main advantages of the methodology are the low computational cost and the independence of the results on the size and orientation of the finite element mesh. These advantages were highlighted in previous works by the authors and motivate the present extension to 3D cases. The proposed methodology is implemented in the finite element framework using continuum constitutive models equipped with strain softening and consists, essentially, in injecting the elements candidate to capture the cracks with some goal oriented strain modes for improving the performance of the injected elements for simulating propagating displacement discontinuities. The goal-oriented strain modes are introduced by resorting to mixed formulations and to the Continuum Strong Discontinuity Approach (CSDA), while the crack position inside the finite elements is retrieved by resorting to the crack-path field technique. Representative numerical simulations in 3D benchmarks show that the advantages of the methodology already pointed out in 2D are kept in 3D scenarios

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Published on 01/01/2018

DOI: 10.1007/s10704-018-0293-8
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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