COHESIVE CRACK-TIP ELEMENT FOR XFEM

J.L. Asferg, P.N. Poulsen & L.O. Nielsen Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark. jla@byg.dtu.dk, pnp@byg.dtu.dk, lon@byg.dtu.dk

ABSTRACT When modelling cohesive crack growth applying low order elements within the framework of the extended finite element method an artificial zig zag pattern may be observed. This is due to the discontinuity degree of freedoms (dofs) at the crack-tip edge being turned of. In a CST crack-tip element only discontinuity dofs in one node are active. Then the element is not able to model the case where stresses of equal magnitude are present on both sides of the crack. This influences the principal stress direction in the adjacent elements and hereby the crack growth direction, causing the observed zigzag pattern. A new crack-tip element that is able to model equal stresses at both sides of a crack is suggested. The element is based on additional discontinuity dofs.

1 INTRODUCTION Modelling of cracks in concrete has been a focus area in the research community since the mid seventies where Hillerborg et al. [1] presented their fictitious crack model and Bažant [2] proposed the concept of a crack band. Applying those concepts several methods have been proposed for crack modelling within the frame work of the Finite Element Method. Today several commercial FEM codes have interface elements suitable for discrete cracking and elements for smeared cracking that are based on the concept of a crack band. The use of interface elements for crack modelling however requires the crack path to be known beforehand, while crack modelling applying the smeared approach is not well-suited for modelling of localized crack growth. Recently, focus has turned towards analysis of discrete crack growth and the special problems related to the modelling of the zone near the crack tip. So far remeshing has often been used as a tool when modelling crack growth. However remeshing is cumbersome hence it requires projection of variables between different meshes. Two methods: the element free Galerkin method [3] and the extended finite element method (XFEM) [4], however, allow modelling of crack growth without remeshing. While the element free Galerkin method deviates in its principal structure from the structure of commercial FEM codes, XFEM can be well suited for commercial FEM codes. In the extended finite element method the displacement field is decomposed into two parts, a continuous and a discontinuous part. The continuous part is the ordinary displacement field corresponding to the situation without any crack while the enrichment with the discontinuous displacement field enables the element to include a discontinuity, in the present case a cohesive crack. The enrichment of the displacement field is based on a local partition of unity [5]. XFEM has been applied to different problems within the area of fracture mechanics. While it was first developed for linear elastic fracture mechanics considering only one crack it has now been applied to different problems such as cohesive cracking [6,7], arbitrary branched and intersecting cracks [8] and three dimensional crack propagation [9].

Hereby a more correct stress distribution may be obtained in the element and the element will be able to model the same stresses on both sides of the crack. Superscript c and d refers to the continuous and the discontinuous part respectively. Figure 2 (B) shows the possible one node discontinuity displacement field for the crack tip element when the enrichment principle illustrated in Figure 1 is applied. Among the proposed crack-tip elements are the one by Chen [10]. The suggested crack-tip element will be implemented in the framework of a traditional finite element algorithm for iterative solving of nonlinear governing equations applying a general arc-length procedure and the performance of the element will be tested modelling relevant test specimens such as three point bending and four point shear. The continuous displacement field is defined equally to the displacement field for an uncracked element. . In the stanI dard case N* is chosen as N c however for the proposed element N* is more general but able to describe the same variations as N c . Figure 2 (A) illustrates the enrichment of nodes in a cracked structure modeled using CST elements. is chosen as N d ( x.e. Also the use of partly cracked elements may smoothen the load displacement curve compared to the case where elements that are only capable of being fully cracked are applied. All system nodes to which cracked elements are connected are enriched. When applying low order triangular elements holding only one active discontinuity dof when acting as crack tip element a zigzag crack pattern may be observed. N * is the part of N* from node I. Figure 1 shows the standard discontinuous displacement field for a CST element completely cut by a crack [11].y) is the 2D Heaviside step function for node I. 2 ENRICHMENT OF DISPLACEMENT FIELD The displacement field for a cracked element can be written as the sum of the continuous and the discontinuous displacement field. The element discontinuity interpolation matrix. the displacement field may be written u ( x. i. In order to ensure that the discontinuity at the crack tip is zero the discontinuity dof’s at the crack tip edge is set to zero. that are only capable of being either uncracked or fully cracked. further developed by Zi and Belytschko [7].y) is 0 on the node side of the crack and 1 on the other. Having only one active discontinuity dof there will be different stress levels at the two sides of the crack causing an error on the determination of the crack growth direction when computing this from the principal stress direction. y ) I I (2) Where HI(x. y ) N * ( x .Modelling of crack propagation within the framework of finite elements may be carried out applying elements that are entirely cut by the crack or by elements that are capable of holding a crack-tip within the element. Partly cracked elements are favorable for the iteration control and may lead to faster convergence. In this work an appealingly simple displacement field has been suggested however only one enriched node is active when considering CST elements and the element is therefore not able to model the case where equivalent stresses are found on both sides of the crack. y ) = ∑ H I ( x . y ) v c + N d ( x . y ) = N c ( x. A displacement field that is based on additional enrichment on the element boundary which is cut by the crack when the crack propagates from one element to another element is suggested. y ) v d c d c d (1) Where v and v are the dof vectors while N and N are the interpolation matrices. N d . The step function HI(x.

Figure 3 (A) shows an example of such a crack tip element [7]. (A) Enrichment of nodes in a finite element system meshed with CST elements.e. The left subfigure shows the crack geometry. while the remaining three subfigures show the individual nodal displacement fields. . (B) Discontinuous displacement field for new crack tip element. coordinates of the start and endpoints are given as area coordinates. Nodes marked with a circle are enriched. Figure 3 (A) Discontinuous displacement field for crack tip element suggested by Chen. Standard enrichment of the displacement field for cracked CST element. [11] Figure 2. Zi and Belytschko [7].Figure 1. The discontinuity dof’s are set to zero in the nodes marked by a square. It is seen that it is not possible to model the case where equal stresses are to be found at both sides of the crack. As mentioned in the introduction some of the suggested elements capable of holding the crack tip inside the element holds the same property – i. the stresses at the two sides of the crack can never be the same. (B) Discontinuity displacement field for crack tip element.

Figure 5 (C) and (D). It is suggested to enrich the nodes connected to the element edge that is cut just before the crack propagates into a new element with extra discontinuity dof’s – c. An internal pseudo node P. To deal with this discrepancy in the value of the dofs several options exists. it is just a point at which the discontinuous displacement field vanish. However the introduction of the pseudo node defining the sub displacement field 1-P-3 requires extra attention to the propagation of the crack from one element to another. As seen from Figure 4 there are continuity problems related to the discontinuous displacement field when an element changes status from being crack-tip element to be neighbor crack-tip element. When the crack propagates into the next element the discontinuity dof’s corresponding to (C) and (D) becomes active in the previous crack-tip element.and then rely on the principle of virtual work and the iteration procedure to make the translation from one set of variables to the other. When the crack propagates from one element to another (Figure 4 B) the contribution to the displacement field from the discontinuity dofs in node 3 may hold a value while in the case where the crack starts to propagate in a new element (Figure 4 C) the contribution from the discontinuity dofs in node 3 must increase from a value of 0. (A) Mesh. Hereby the element becomes capable of modeling the case where equal stresses are found at both sides of the crack. Activating the enrichment of both node 1 and 3 allows for variations in the displacement fields at both sides of the crack as shown in the figure. The pseudo node does not hold any dof’s. As long as an element is acting as a crack-tip element only the discontinuity dof’s corresponding to (A) and (B) will be active. However this would require a very strong iterative procedure due to the sudden changes in the variables describing the displacement field and therefore an alternative solution is suggested. (B) displacement field in crack-tip element just before crack is propagating into next element.crack-tip or “ordinary” cracked element . The extra set of discontinuity dofs may model a displacement field in the neighbor crack-tip element that is equal to the displacement field along the edge 2-3 in Figure 4(D) whereby the desired continuity across the element boundary is achieved. . An option is to accept two different sets of variables for description of the discontinuous displacements field depending on the element status . Figure 4 Displacement compatibility when element status is changed from crack tip element to neighbor crack-tip element. (C) Displacement field in crack-tip element.Figure 3(B) illustrates the suggested new discontinuous displacement field. located at the crack tip is introduced.f.

Flemming M. This approach is furthermore appealing due to no requirements for extra equations to be solved at system level meaning that the overall solving of the nonlinear equations is compatible with the framework of traditional FEM algorithms. ductility and size effect in strain-softening concrete. 6:773. Modéer. 57:221-2240. Meshless methods: an overview and recent developments. Arbitrary branched and intersecting cracks with the extended finite element method. 50(12):2667-2682. Dolbow J. In this work the later approach has been adopted. 331-344. Meth. J. 4 REFERENCES [1] Hillerborg. M. [2] Bažant.. New discontinuous displacement field for XFEM crack element. Several authors suggest that a stress intensity factor criterion is adopted – i. ASCE Journal of Engineering Mechanics 102. Organ D. . Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 1996. Int. Black T. 3 CRACK GROWTH CRITERION For discrete crack growth several approaches has been suggested for the crack growth criterion. 1976. Sukumar N. Meth. Instabillity. A new method for modeling of cohesive cracks using finite elements. Cem. Elastic crack growth in finite elements with minimal remeshing. Petterson P-E. Concr. the crack is grown until the mode I stress intensity factor has decreased to zero. Int. Numer. Engng. [6] Wells GN.782. Int. Krysl P. Engng. [7] Zi G. J. Res. Engng. Meth. However when applying a cohesive stress-crack-opening relationship and allowing the crack to propagate until the stress at the crack tip is equal to the tensile strength of the material the principle of virtual work will ensure the correct crack growth. [5] Melenk JM. Sluys LJ. Int. Engng. 45(5):601-620. [8] Daux C. [3] Belytschko T. J.Figure 5. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 1996. 2003. Belytschko T. 3 CONCLUSIONS A new crack-tip element for cohesive crack modelling within the framework of the extended finite element method is developed. Babuška I. Meth. J. The advantage of the proposed crack-tip element is the capability of the element to model stresses of equal magnitude at both sides of the crack. 2001. Möes N. 1976: 102. 139:3-47. A. The partition of unity finite element method: basic theory and application. Z P. Numer. 139:289314.e. New crack-tip elements for XFEM and applications to cohesive cracks. Belytschko T. 1999. Numer. [4] Belytschko T. Numer. Analysis of crack formation and crack growth in concrete by means of fracture mechanics and finite elements. Due to this it is expected that by applying the element the artificial zig-zag pattern observed when using low order elements for cohesive crack growth may be reduced. 2000. 48:1741-1760. Krongauz Y.

[9] Sukumar N. Extended finite element method for three dimesional crack modeling. [11] Asferg. Poulsen. Northwestern University 2003. J Numer Meth Engng 2000. Belytschko T. P. . Delft. to be published in the proceedings of 5th International PhD Symposium in Civil Engineering.O. L. Int. 48:1549-1570. The Netherlands. Ph. [10] Chen H. Möes N. Nielsen.D. J.: Modeling of Cohesive Crack Applying XFEM. Moran B. Enriched finite element methods and its applications..L. Thesis. June 16-19 2004.N..

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