Variational phase-field models from brittle to ductile fracture : nucleation and propagation

Abstract : Phase-field models, sometimes referred to as gradient damage, are widely used methods for the numerical simulation of crack propagation in brittle materials. Theoretical results and numerical evidences show that they can predict the propagation of a pre-existing crack according to Griffith’s criterion. For a one- dimensional problem, it has been shown that they can predict nucleation upon a critical stress, provided that the regularization parameter is identified with the material’s internal characteristic length.In this work, we draw on numerical simulations to study crack nucleation in commonly encountered geometries for which closed-form solutions are not available. We use U- and V-notches to show that the nucleation load varies smoothly from the one predicted by a strength criterion to the one of a toughness criterion when the strength of the stress concentration or singularity varies. We present validation and verification of numerical simulations for both types of geometries. We consider the problem of an elliptic cavity in an infinite or elongated domain to show that variational phase field models properly account for structural and material size effects.In a second movement, this model is extended to hydraulic fracturing. We present a validation of the model by simulating a single fracture in a large domain subject to a control amount of fluid. Then we study an infinite network of pressurized parallel cracks. Results show that the stimulation of a single fracture is the best energy minimizer compared to multi-fracking case. The last example focuses on fracturing stability regimes using linear elastic fracture mechanics for pressure driven fractures in an experimental geometry used in petroleum industry which replicates a situation encountered downhole with a borehole called burst experiment.The last part of this work focuses on ductile fracture by coupling phase-field models with perfect plasticity. Based on the variational structure of the problem we give a numerical implementation of the coupled model for parallel computing. Simulation results of a mild notch specimens are in agreement with the phenomenology of ductile fracture such that nucleation and propagation commonly reported in the literature.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 2:17:07 PM
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Erwan Tanne. Variational phase-field models from brittle to ductile fracture : nucleation and propagation. Materials and structures in mechanics [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLX088⟩. ⟨tel-01758354⟩

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