A generalized cohesive element technique for arbitrary crack motion

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A computational method for arbitrary crack motion through a finite element mesh, termed as the generalized cohesive element technique, is presented. In this method, an element with an internal discontinuity is replaced by two superimposed elements with a combination of original and imaginary nodes. Conventional cohesive zone modeling, limited to crack propagation along the edges of the elements, is extended to incorporate the intra-element mixed-mode crack propagation. Proposed numerical technique has been shown to be quite accurate, robust and mesh insensitive provided the cohesive zone ahead of the crack tip is resolved adequately. A series of numerical examples is presented to demonstrate the validity and applicability of the proposed method. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Finite Elements in Analysis and Design