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Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 961–1005 | Cite as

Challenges, Tools and Applications of Tracking Algorithms in the Numerical Modelling of Cracks in Concrete and Masonry Structures

  • Savvas SaloustrosEmail author
  • Miguel Cervera
  • Luca Pelà
Original Paper

Abstract

The importance of crack propagation in the structural behaviour of concrete and masonry structures has led to the development of a wide range of finite element methods for crack simulation. A common standpoint in many of them is the use of tracking algorithms, which identify and designate the location of cracks within the analysed structure. In this way, the crack modelling techniques, smeared or discrete, are applied only to a restricted part of the discretized domain. This paper presents a review of finite element approaches to cracking focusing on the development and use of tracking algorithms. These are presented in four categories according to the information necessary for the definition and storage of the crack-path. In addition to that, the most utilised criteria for the selection of the crack propagation direction are summarized. The various algorithmic issues involved in the development of a tracking algorithm are discussed through the presentation of a local tracking algorithm based on the smeared crack approach. Challenges such as the modelling of arbitrary and multiple cracks propagating towards more than one direction, as well as multi-directional and intersecting cracking, are detailed. The presented numerical model is applied to the analysis of small- and large-scale masonry and concrete structures under monotonic and cyclic loading.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research has received the financial support from the MINECO (Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad of the Spanish Government) and the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) through the MULTIMAS project (Multiscale techniques for the experimental and numerical analysis of the reliability of masonry structures, ref. num. BIA2015-63882-P) and the EACY project (Enhanced accuracy computational and experimental framework for strain localization and failure mechanisms, ref. MAT2013-48624-C2-1-P).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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© CIMNE, Barcelona, Spain 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC-BarcelonaTechBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.CIMNE - Centre Internacional de Mètodes Numèrics a l’EnginyeriaBarcelonaSpain

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