Time scale in concrete fracture: a model based on partitions of unity
Intense research efforts have been put in the formulation of theories for crack initiation and propagation in concrete. Yet, little attention has been paid to the time-dependence of fracture, despite evidence of its significance. This paper reports a finite element model which captures the time scale in concrete fracture. Visco-elasticity is employed to capture bulk creep. In the fracture process zone a different time scale acts. Therefore, a rate-dependent cracking resistance is modelled. A recently developed finite element method for modelling cohesive cracks is employed. It is based on partitions of unity, by which means displacement jumps are introduced independently of the mesh structure. This avoids the requirement of dense meshes by regularised continuum approaches to model localisation, and a priori knowledge of where cracks occur for standard discrete cracking approaches via interfaces.