- Theory and numerics of three-dimensional strong discontinuities at finite strains (2009)
- Within this thesis we present a novel approach towards the modeling of strong discontinuities in a three dimensional finite element framework for large deformations. This novel finite element framework is modularly constructed containing three essential parts: (i) the bulk problem, ii) the cohesive interface problem and iii) the crack tracking problem. Within this modular design, chapter 2 (Continuous solid mechanics) treats the behavior of the bulk problem (i). It includes the overall description of the continuous kinematics, the required balance equations, the constitutive setting and the finite element formulation with its corresponding discretization and required solution strategy for the emerging highly non-linear equations. Subsequently, we discuss the modeling of strong discontinuities within finite element discretization schemes in chapter 3 (Discontinuous solid mechanics). Starting with an extension of the continuous kinematics to the discontinuous situation, we discuss the phantom-node discretization scheme based on the works of Hansbo & Hansbo. Thereby, in addition to a comparison with the extended finite element method (XFEM), importance is attached to the technical details for the adaptive introduction of the required discontinuous elements: The splitting of finite elements, the numerical integration, the visualization and the formulation of geometrical correct crack tip elements. In chapter 4 (The cohesive crack concept), we consider the treatment of cohesive process zones and the associated treatment of cohesive tractions. By applying this approach we are able to merge all irreversible, crack propagation accompanying, failure mechanisms into an arbitrary traction separation relation. Additionally, this concept ensures bounded crack tip stresses and allows the use of stress-based failure criteria for the determination of crack growth. In summary, the use of the discontinuous elements in conjunction with cohesive traction separation allows the mesh-independent computation of crack propagation along pre-defined crack paths. Therefore, this combination is defined as the interface problem (ii) and represents the next building block in the modular design of this thesis. The description and the computation of the evolving crack surface, based on the actual status of a considered specimen is the key issue of chapter 5 (Crack path tracking strategies). In contrast to the two-dimensional case, where tracking the path in a C0-continuous way is straightforward, three-dimensional crack path tracking requires additional strategies. We discuss the currently available approaches regarding this issue and further compare the approaches by means of usual quality measures. In the modular design of this thesis these algorithms represent the last main part which is classified as the crack tracking problem (iii). Finally chapter 6 (Representative numerical examples) verifies the finite element tool by comparisons of the computational results which experiments and benchmarks of engineering fracture problems in concrete. Afterwards the finite element tool is applied to model folding induced fracture of geological structures.