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The neighbored element method for damage processes

The neighbored element method for damage processes

Led by:  P. Junker, D. R. Jantos
Year:  2018

Damage processes are modeled by a softening behavior in a stress/strain diagram. This reveals that the stiffness loses its ellipticity and the energy is thus not coercive. The underlying partial differental equation wouldn't have a unique solution and the numerical implementation of such an ill-posed problem yields results that are strongly dependent on the chosen spatial discretization. Consequently, regularization strategies have to be employed that render the problem well-posed. A prominent method for regularization is a gradient enhancement of the free energy. This, however, results in field equations that have to be solved in parallel to the Euler-Lagrange equation for the displacement field. Therefore the number of degrees of freedom (unknowns) would increase and the system solution using a finite element approach would be cumbersome and numerically demanding. A gradient-enhanced material model for brittle damage using Hamilton’s principle for nonconservative continua was developed. The model is based on an improved algorithm, combining the finite element with strategies from meshless methods, for a fast update of the damage field function. This numerical treatment is referred to as neighbored element method (NME). The model proves to be numerically stable and fast, with simulation times close to purely elastic problems. In addition, the model provides mesh-independent results.