There are several theories used to describe the fracture process including Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM), Elastic-Plastic Fracture Mechanics (EPFM), and Cohesive Zone Models (CZM), which allow for development of predictive capabilities. The main disadvantage of LEFM and EPFM techniques is that only structures with an initial crack can be modeled. Other drawbacks of these techniques are geometry dependence and validity limits. In contrast, CZM can simulate fractures in any structures, with or without a crack. CZM is not confined to a class of materials, but can be used for arbitrary materials. In this paper, the CZM is used to numerically simulate crack initiation and growth in a steel plate. Within the CZM, material separation (i.e. damage of the structure) is described by interface elements, which open irreversibly and lose their stiffness at failure, causing the continuum elements to be disconnected.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.