Energetically motivated crack orientation vector for phase-field fracture with a directional split

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


The realistic approximation of structural behavior in a post fracture state by the phase-field method requires information about the spatial orientation of the crack surface at the material point level. For the directional phase-field split, this orientation is specified by the crack orientation vector, that is defined perpendicular to the crack surface. An alternative approach to the determination of the orientation based on standard fracture mechanical arguments, i.e. in alignment with the direction of the largest principle tensile strain or stress, is investigated by considering the amount of dissipated strain energy density during crack evolution. In contrast to the application of gradient methods, the analytical approach enables the determination of all local maxima of strain energy density dissipation and, in consequence, the identification of the global maximum, that is assumed to govern the orientation of an evolving crack. Furthermore, the evaluation of the local maxima provides a novel aspect in the discussion of the phenomenon of crack branching. As the directional split differentiates into crack driving contributions of tension and shear stresses on the crack surface, a consistent relation to Mode I and Mode II fracture is available and a mode dependent fracture toughness can be considered. Consequently, the realistic simulation of rock-like fracture is demonstrated. In addition, a numerical investigation of Γ -convergence for an AT-2 type crack surface density is presented in a two-dimensional setup. For the directional split, also the issues internal locking as well as lateral phase-field evolution are addressed.


Seiten (von - bis)15-46
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Fracture
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 10 Mai 2022

Externe IDs

Scopus 85129771158
Mendeley 4d4a9553-4c33-32fd-bdcd-e52fa1f7e974
unpaywall 10.1007/s10704-022-00633-3
WOS 000793010500001
ORCID /0000-0002-6115-6493/work/142250899



  • Brittle fracture, Crack orientation vector, Directional split, Mode dependent fracture toughness, Phase-field method