Fast staggered schemes for the phase-field model of brittle fracture based on the fixed-stress concept

Chenyi Luo

Phase field models are promising to tackle various fracture problems where a diffusive crack is introduced and modelled using the phase variable. Owing to the non-convexity of the energy functional, the derived partial differential equations are usually solved in a staggered manner. However, this method suffers from a low convergence rate, and a large number of staggered iterations are needed, especially at the fracture nucleation and propagation. In this study, we propose novel staggered schemes, which are inspired by the fixed-stress split scheme in poromechanics. By fixing the stress when solving the damage evolution, the displacement increment is expressed in terms of the increment of the phase variable. The relation between these two increments enables a prediction of the displacement and the active energy based on the increment of the phase variable. Thus, the maximum number of staggered iterations is reduced, and the computational efficiency is improved. We present three staggered schemes by fixing the first invariant, second invariant, or both invariants of the stress, denoted by S1, S2, and S3 schemes. The performance of the schemes is then verified by comparing with the standard staggered scheme through three benchmark examples, i.e., tensile, shear, and L-shape panel tests. The results exhibit that the force-displacement relations and the crack patterns computed using the fast schemes are consistent with the ones based on the standard staggered scheme. Moreover, the proposed S1 and S2 schemes can largely reduce the maximum number of staggered iterations and total CPU time in all benchmark tests. The S2 scheme performs comparably except in the shear test, where the underlying assumption is violated in the region close to the crack.

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