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Finite element simulation of multiple cracks in solids using mesh fragmentation technique

Grant number: 13/01468-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Civil Engineering - Structural Engineering
Principal Investigator:Osvaldo Luís Manzoli
Grantee:Michael Andrade Maedo
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/06906-4 - Finite element simulation of hydraulic fracturing using mesh fragmentation technique, BE.EP.MS


This work intends to give support to the development of a methodology for the computer simulation of the formation of multiple cracks in three-dimensional problems. The methodology, being developed by the research group of the Faculty of Engineering-UNESP (Bauru), consists on the fragmentation of the finite element mesh and introducing elements of special interfaces between all solid elements. The introduction of interfaces aims to represent the failure process of quasi-brittle materials and follows an innovative proposal in which standard finite element solid with high aspect ratio and constitutive relations consistent with the strong discontinuity regime are used. The methodology is very attractive for complex three-dimensional problems in many fields of engineering because it allows the representation of multiple cracks without requiring adaptive algorithms for the reconstruction of the mesh or for progressive construction of the failure surface path. The primary activities of this proposal are related to the study of possible limitations of the method regarding the objectivity of the solutions with respect to the finite element mesh and disadvantages related to the high computational effort involved, serving as a subsidy for recommendations to minimize these potential inconveniences. The project also aims to assist the developments being made in conjunction with the Federal University of Pernambuco and the Texas A&M University groups, trying to adapt the fragmentation methodology to problems involving hydro-mechanical coupling in order to extend its applicability. In this context, it should develop basic tests (benchmarks) and perform analyzes to validate the methodology, comparing the obtained results against the ones obtained experimentally and with other existing methodologies for the same purpose. These last activities should be developed during a research internship at Texas A&M University.

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