An augmented cohesive zone element for arbitrary crack coalescence and bifurcation in heterogeneous materials.

*(English)*Zbl 1242.74111Summary: We demonstrate that traditional cohesive zone (CZ) elements cannot be accurate when used in conjunction with solid elements with arbitrary intra-element cracking capability, because they cannot capture the load transfer between cohesive interfaces and the solid elements when crack bifurcation or coalescence occurs. An augmented cohesive zone (ACZ) element based on the augmented finite element method formulation is therefore proposed. The new element allows for arbitrary separation of the cohesive element in accordance with the crack configuration of the abutting solid elements, thus correctly maintaining the non-linear coupling between merging or bifurcating cracks. Numerical accuracy and effectiveness of the proposed ACZ element are demonstrated through several examples.

##### MSC:

74S05 | Finite element methods applied to problems in solid mechanics |

74R10 | Brittle fracture |

74E05 | Inhomogeneity in solid mechanics |

##### Keywords:

A-FEM; cohesive zone model; nonlinear fracture; composites; crack bifurcation; crack coalescence
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\textit{X. J. Fang} et al., Int. J. Numer. Methods Eng. 88, No. 9, 841--861 (2011; Zbl 1242.74111)

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