Publications / Journal Article

Complex Fracture Nucleation and Evolution with Nonlocal Elastodynamics

Lehoucq, Richard B.; Lipton, Robert L.; Jha, Prashant J.

A mechanical model is introduced for predicting the initiation and evolution of complex fracture patterns without the need for a damage variable or law. The model, a continuum variant of Newton’s second law, uses integral rather than partial differential operators where the region of integration is over finite domain. The force interaction is derived from a novel nonconvex strain energy density function, resulting in a nonmonotonic material model. The resulting equation of motion is proved to be mathematically well-posed. The model has the capacity to simulate nucleation and growth of multiple, mutually interacting dynamic fractures. In the limit of zero region of integration, the model reproduces the classic Griffith model of brittle fracture. As a result, the simplicity of the formulation avoids the need for supplemental kinetic relations that dictate crack growth or the need for an explicit damage evolution law.