Phase-field modeling of fracture

Jian Ying Wu, Vinh Phu Nguyen, Chi Thanh Nguyen, Danas Sutula, Sina Sinaie, Stephane Bordas

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Fracture is one of the most commonly encountered failure modes of engineering materials and structures. Prevention of cracking-induced failure is, therefore, a major concern in structural designs. Computational modeling of fracture constitutes an indispensable tool not only to predict the failure of cracking structures but also to shed insights into understanding the fracture processes of many materials such as concrete, rock, ceramic, metals, and biological soft tissues. This chapter provides an extensive overview of the literature on the so-called phase-field fracture/damage models (PFMs), particularly, for quasi-static and dynamic fracture of brittle and quasi-brittle materials, from the points of view of a computational mechanician. PFMs are the regularized versions of the variational approach to fracture which generalizes Griffith's theory for brittle fracture. They can handle topologically complex fractures such as initiation, intersecting, and branching cracks in both two and three dimensions with a quite straightforward implementation. One of our aims is to justify the gaining popularity of PFMs. To this end, both theoretical and computational aspects are discussed and extensive benchmark problems (for quasi-static and dynamic brittle/cohesive fracture) that are successfully and unsuccessfully solved with PFMs are presented. Unresolved issues for further investigations are also documented.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages183
JournalAdvances in Applied Mechanics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Dec 2019

Cite this

Wu, J. Y., Nguyen, V. P., Nguyen, C. T., Sutula, D., Sinaie, S., & Bordas, S. (Accepted/In press). Phase-field modeling of fracture. Advances in Applied Mechanics.