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Generalized finite element methods for three-dimensional crack growth simulations

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Title: Generalized finite element methods for three-dimensional crack growth simulations
Author(s): Pereira, Jeronymo P.
Director of Research: Duarte, C. Armando
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Duarte, C. Armando
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Song, Junho; Geubelle, Philippe H.; Heath, Michael T.; Eason, Thomas G., III
Department / Program: Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline: Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): computational fracture mechanics partition of unity methods Generalized Finite Element Method (GFEM) global-local Finite Element Method (FEM) crack propagation 3D fracture
Abstract: Three-dimensional (3-D) crack growth analysis is crucial for the assessment of structures such as aircrafts, rockets, engines and pressure vessels, which are subjected to extreme loading conditions. The analysis of 3-D arbitrary crack growth using the standard Finite Element Method (FEM) encounters several difficulties. The singularities at crack fronts require strongly refined finite element meshes that must fit the discontinuity surfaces while keeping the aspect ratio of the elements within acceptable bounds. Fully automatic generation of meshes in complex 3-D geometries satisfying these requirements is a daunting task. Partition-of-unity methods, such as the Generalized FEM (GFEM), are promising candidates to surmount the shortcomings of the standard FEM in crack growth simulations. These methods allow the representation of discontinuities and singularities in the solution via geometrical descriptions of crack surfaces, that are independent of the volume mesh, coupled with suitable enrichment functions. As a result, volume meshes need not fit crack surfaces. This work proposes an hp-version of the GFEM (hp-GFEM) for crack growth simulations. This method provides enough flexibility to build high-order discretizations for crack growth simulations. At each crack growth step, high-order approximations on locally refined meshes are automatically created in complex 3-D domains while preserving the aspect ratio of elements, regardless of crack geometry. The hp-GFEM uses explicit surface meshes composed of triangles to represent non-planar 3-D crack surfaces. By design, the proposed methodology allows the crack surface to be arbitrarily located within the GFEM mesh. To track the crack surface evolution, the proposed methodology considers an extension of the Face Offsetting Method (FOM). Based on the hp-GFEM solution, the FOM provides geometrically feasible crack front descriptions by updating the vertex positions and checking for self-intersections of the edges. The hp-GFEM with FOM allows the simulation of arbitrary crack growth independent of the volume mesh. Numerical simulations using the hp-GFEM coupled with the FOM are corroborated by experimental data and experimental observations. As an alternative to large-scale crack growth simulations, this work combines the proposed hp-GFEM with the generalized finite element method with global-local enrichment functions (GFEMgl). The proposed method allows crack growth simulations with arbitrary path in industrial level complexity problems while keeping the global mesh unchanged. Furthermore, this method allows crack growth simulations without solving the entire problem from scratch at each crack growth step. The GFEMgl for crack growth explores solutions from previous crack growth steps, hierarchical property of the enrichment functions as well as static condensation of the global-local degrees of freedom to expedite the solution process. Numerical examples demonstrate the robustness, efficiency and accuracy of the proposed GFEMgl for crack growth simulations.
Issue Date: 2010-05-14
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/15598
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Jeronymo P. Pereira
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-05-14
2012-05-15
Date Deposited: 2010-05
 

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