Application of configurational mechanics to crack propagation
Document typeConference report
PublisherInternational Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE)
Rights accessOpen Access
Crack initiation and propagation is an essential aspect in the mechanical behavior of a large variety of materials and structures in all fields of Engineering and, in particular, the prediction of crack trajectories is one of the major challenges of existing numerical methods. Classical procedures to fix crack direction have been based on local criteria such as maximum (tensile) hope stress. However, Fracture Mechanics principles suggest that global criteria should be used instead, such as maximizing structural energy release rates. An emerging trend along this way is based on Configurational Mechanics, which describes a dual version of the mechanical problem in terms of configurational pseudo-stresses, pseudo-forces, etc. all with a physical meaning related to the change in global structural elastic energy caused by changes in the structural geometry (configuration). In the FEM context, these concepts are applied to optimize the total energy of the mesh with respect to reference coordinates using the discrete configurational forces. Configurational stresses given by Eshelby’s energy-momentum tensor may be integrated using standard expressions to give configurational nodal forces. Adequate treatment of these forces in the context of iterative FE calculations, may lead to prediction of crack trajectories in terms of global structural energy.
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