This paper presents an extension of the recently-developed finite element–scaled boundary finite element (FEM–SBFEM) coupled method to model multiple crack propagation in concrete. The concrete bulk and fracture process zones are modelled using SBFEM and nonlinear cohesive interface finite elements (CIEs), respectively. The CIEs are automatically inserted into the SBFEM mesh as the cracks propagate. The algorithm previously devised for single crack propagation is augmented to model problems with multiple cracks and to allow cracks to initiate in an un-cracked SBFEM mesh. It also addresses crack propagation from one subdomain into another, as a result of partitioning a coarse SBFEM mesh, required for some mixed–mode problems. Each crack in the SBFEM mesh propagates when the sign of the Mode-I stress intensity factor at the crack tip turns positive from negative. Its propagation angle is determined using linear elastic fracture mechanics criteria. Three concrete beams involving multiple crack propagation are modelled. The predicted crack propagation patterns and load–displacement curves are in good agreement with data reported in literature.
- Scaled boundary finite element method
- Cohesive crack model
- Multiple crack propagation
- Local arc-length method