Computational modelling of fracture with local maximum entropy approximations
The key objective of this research is to study fracture with a meshfree method, local maximum entropy approximations, and model fracture in thin shell structures with complex geometry and topology. This topic is of high relevance for real-world applications, for example in the automotive industry and in aerospace engineering. The shell structure can be described efficiently by meshless methods which are capable of describing complex shapes as a collection of points instead of a structured mesh.
... In order to find the appropriate numerical method to achieve this goal, the first part of the work was development of a method based on local maximum entropy (LME) shape functions together with enrichment functions used in partition of unity methods to discretize problems in linear elastic fracture mechanics. We obtain improved accuracy relative to the standard extended finite element method (XFEM) at a comparable computational cost. In addition, we keep the advantages of the LME shape functions,such as smoothness and non-negativity. We show numerically that optimal convergence (same as in FEM) for energy norm and stress intensity factors can be obtained through the use of geometric (fixed area) enrichment with no special treatment of the nodes near the crack such as blending or shifting. As extension of this method to three dimensional problems and complex thin shell structures with arbitrary crack growth is cumbersome, we developed a phase field model for fracture using LME. Phase field models provide a powerful tool to tackle moving interface problems, and have been extensively used in physics and materials science. Phase methods are gaining popularity in a wide set of applications in applied science and engineering, recently a second order phase field approximation for brittle fracture has gathered significant interest in computational fracture such that sharp cracks discontinuities are modeled by a diffusive crack. By minimizing the system energy with respect to the mechanical displacements and the phase-field, subjec [...]