Published in Computational Mechanics Vol. 59 (2), pp. 299–316, 2017
Tracking algorithms constitute an efficient numerical technique for modelling fracture in quasi-brittle materials. They succeed in representing localized cracks in the numerical model without mesh-induced directional bias. Currently available tracking algorithms have an important limitation: cracking originates either from the boundary of the discretized domain or from predefined “crack-root” elements and then propagates along one orientation. This paper aims to circumvent this drawback by proposing a novel tracking algorithm that can simulate cracking starting at any point of the mesh and propagating along one or two orientations. This enhancement allows the simulation of structural case-studies experiencing multiple cracking. The proposed approach is validated through the simulation of a benchmark example and an experimentally tested structural frame under in-plane loading. Mesh-bias independency of the numerical solution, computational cost and predicted collapse mechanisms with and without the tracking algorithm are discussed.
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