A framework for efficient isogeometric computations of phase-field brittle fracture in multipatch shell structures
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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We present a computational framework for applying the phase-field approach to brittle fracture efficiently to complex shell structures. The momentum and phase-field equations are solved in a staggered scheme using isogeometric Kirchhoff-Love shell analysis for the structural part and isogeometric second- and fourth-order phase-field formulations for the brittle fracture part. For the application to complex multipatch structures, we propose penalty formulations for imposing all the required interface constraints, i.e., displacement (C0) and rotational (C1) continuity for the structure as well as C0 and C1 continuity for the phase field, where the latter is required only in the case of the fourth-order phase-field model. All involved penalty terms are scaled with the corresponding problem parameters to ensure a consistent scaling of the penalty contributions to the global system of equations. As a consequence, all coupling terms are controlled by one global penalty parameter, which can be set to 103 independent of the problem parameters. Furthermore, we present a multistep predictor-corrector algorithm for adaptive local refinement with LR NURBS, which can accurately predict and refine the region around the crack even in cases where fracture fully develops in a single load step, such that rather coarse initial meshes can be used, which is essential especially for the application to large structures. Finally, we investigate and compare the numerical efficiency of loosely vs. strongly staggered solution schemes and of the second- vs. fourth-order phase-field models.