Three-dimensional simulation of concrete fracture using embedded crack elements without enforcing crack path continuity



Numerical implementation of quasibrittle cohesive cracking is still an open issue, 30 years after the introduction of the fictitious crack by Hillerborg. The paper first briefly presents the existing trends and underpins the basic problems of the various procedures, especially the necessity (to avoid crack locking) of tracking algorithms to enforce crack path continuity. As an alternative, the paper describes a recent method based on very simple ingredients: strong discontinuity kinematics, constant stress tetrahedral, crack equilibrium solved at element level, damage-like cohesive crack with central forces, and limited local crack adaptability that is able, as shown by the examples, to describe the cohesive crack growth with adequate accuracy while keeping the formulation strictly local (element level only, no neighbours information required). Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.