Embedded discontinuities for softening solids
Additional, discontinuous functions are added to the displacement field of standard finite elements in order to capture highly localised zones of intense straining. By embedding discontinuities within an element it is possible to effectively model localisation phenomena (such as fracture in concrete) with a relatively small number of finite elements. The displacement jump is regularised, producing bounded strains and allowing the application of classical strain softening constitutive laws. It is then possible to achieve mesh-objective results with respect to energy dissipation without resorting to higher-order continuum theories.