Stable 3D extended finite elements with higher order enrichment for accurate non planar fracture

K. Agathos, E. Chatzi, Stephane Bordas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016. An extended finite element method (XFEM) for three dimensional (3D) non-planar linear elastic fracture is introduced, which provides optimal convergence through the use of enrichment in a fixed area around the crack front, while also improving the conditioning of the resulting system matrices. This is achieved by fusing a novel form of enrichment with existing blending techniques. Further, the adoption of higher order terms of the Williams expansion is also considered and the effects in the accuracy and conditioning of the method are studied. Moreover, some problems regarding the evaluation of stress intensity factors (SIFs) and element partitioning are dealt with. The accuracy and convergence properties of the method as well as the conditioning of the resulting stiffness matrices are investigated through the use of appropriate benchmark problems. It is shown that the proposed approach provides increased accuracy while requiring, for all cases considered, a reduced number of iterations for the solution of the resulting systems of equations. The positive impact of geometrical enrichment is further demonstrated in the accuracy of the computed SIFs where, for the examined cases, an improvement of up to 40% is achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-46
Number of pages28
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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