Computational Mechanics

, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp 381–397

Modeling mixed-mode dynamic crack propagation nsing finite elements: Theory and applications

  • D. V. Swenson
  • A. R. Ingraffea

DOI: 10.1007/BF00301139

Cite this article as:
Swenson, D.V. & Ingraffea, A.R. Computational Mechanics (1988) 3: 381. doi:10.1007/BF00301139


Previous work in modeling dynamic fracture has assumed the crack will propagate along predefined mesh lines (usually a straight line). In this paper we present a finite element model of mixed-mode dynamic crack propagation in which this constraint is removed. Applying linear elasto-dynamic fracture mechanics concepts, discrete cracks are allowed to propagate through the mesh in arbitrary directions. The fracture criteria used for propagation and the algorithms used for remeshing are described in detail. Important features of the implementation are the use of triangular elements with quadratic shape functions, explicit time integration, and interactive computer graphics. These combine to make the approach robust and applicable to a broad range of problems.

Example analyses of straight and curving crack problems are presented. Verification problems include a stationary crack under dynamic loading and a propagating crack in an infinite body. Comparisons with experimental data are made for curving propagation in a cracked plate under biaxial loading.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. V. Swenson
    • 1
  • A. R. Ingraffea
    • 2
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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