Partition of unity methods, such as the extended finite element method, allows discontinuities to be simulated independently of the mesh (Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng. 1999; 45:601–620). This eliminates the need for the mesh to be aligned with the discontinuity or cumbersome re-meshing, as the discontinuity evolves. However, to compute the stiffness matrix of the elements intersected by the discontinuity, a subdivision of the elements into quadrature subcells aligned with the discontinuity is commonly adopted. In this paper, we use a simple integration technique, proposed for polygonal domains (Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2009; 80(1):103–134. DOI: 10.1002/nme.2589) to suppress the need for element subdivision. Numerical results presented for a few benchmark problems in the context of linear elastic fracture mechanics and a multi-material problem show that the proposed method yields accurate results. Owing to its simplicity, the proposed integration technique can be easily integrated in any existing code. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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