Strain-gradient vs damage-gradient regularizations of softening damage models

Abstract : Local damage models with softening needs localization limiters to preserve the mathematical and physical consistency. In this paper we compare the properties of strain-gradient and damage-gradient regularizations. Gradient-damage models introduce a quadratic dependency of the dissipated energy on the gradient of the damage field and are nowadays extensively used as phase-field approximation of brittle fracture. Their key feature is to provide a smeared approximation of a crack as a band of localised damage with a finite energy dissipation per unit of surface, that can be identified with the fracture toughness of the Griffith model. Strain gradient models introduce a quadratic dependence of the elastic energy on the gradient of the strain field. A similar term can be physically interpreted as the presence in the material of linear, but nonlocal, stiffnesses, that can be eventually be affected by damage. Despite this attractive interpretation, we have found that strain-gradient regularized models can hardly be used to approximate brittle fracture, because smeared cracks with non-vanishing and finite dissipated energies are hardly obtained. Our analysis is based on variational models and focuses on the one-dimensional traction problem.
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Duc Le, Jean-Jacques Marigo, Corrado Maurini, Stefano Vidoli. Strain-gradient vs damage-gradient regularizations of softening damage models. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Elsevier, In press, 340, pp.424-450. ⟨10.1016/j.cma.2018.06.013⟩. ⟨hal-01811882⟩

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