Computational modelling of cracks in viscoplastic media
A newly developed numerical model is used to simulate propagating cracks in a strain softening viscoplastic medium. The model allows the simulation of displacement discontinuities independently of a finite element mesh. This is possible using the partition of unity concept, in which fracture is treated as a coupled problem, with separate variational equations corresponding to the continuous and discontinuous parts of the displacement field. The equations are coupled through the dependence of the stress field on the strain state. Numerical examples show that allowing displacement discontinuities in a viscoplastic Von Mises material can lead to a failure mode that differs from a continuum-only model.