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Simulation of mixed-mode fracture using the combined finite–discrete element method


It has been shown experimentally that under mixed tensile and compressive stress states, a corresponding mixed-mode fracture will occur. In this paper, the formation of mixed-mode fractures is investigated using the combined finite–discrete element method. A series of simulations with confining pressures ranging from 7.5 to 150 MPa generate a spectrum of mixed-mode failure conditions. These stress states at failure span the transition from the tensile to compressive failure. The models reproduce previous experiments on Carrara marble using a dog-bone geometry, and a comparison shows good qualitative agreement with the experimental observations. This paper demonstrates that mixed-mode fracture can be captured via numerical simulations and identifies areas where further research is required to better understand mixed-mode fracture processes.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, is operated by Triad National Security, LLC, for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract 89233218CNA000001. This research used resources provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Institutional Computing Program. By acceptance of this article, the publisher recognizes that the U.S. Government retains a nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of this contribution, or to allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes. Los Alamos National Laboratory requests that the publisher identify this article as work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Department of Homeland Security sponsored the production of this material under the Department of Energy contract for the management and operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory and approved for unlimited release under LA-UR-19-32443.

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Boyce, S., Lei, Z., Euser, B. et al. Simulation of mixed-mode fracture using the combined finite–discrete element method. Comp. Part. Mech. 7, 1047–1055 (2020).

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  • FDEM
  • Fracture
  • Mixed-mode failure
  • Carrara marble
  • Confined extension