Phase-field analysis of finite-strain plates and shells including element subdivision

P. Areias, Timon Rabczuk, M. A. Msekh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Citations (Scopus)


With the theme of fracture of finite-strain plates and shells based on a phase-field model of crack regularization, we introduce a new staggered algorithm for elastic and elasto-plastic materials. To account for correct fracture behavior in bending, two independent phase-fields are used, corresponding to the lower and upper faces of the shell. This is shown to provide a realistic behavior in bending-dominated problems, here illustrated in classical beam and plate problems. Finite strain behavior for both elastic and elasto-plastic constitutive laws is made compatible with the phase-field model by use of a consistent updated-Lagrangian algorithm. To guarantee sufficient resolution in the definition of the crack paths, a local remeshing algorithm based on the phase-field values at the lower and upper shell faces is introduced. In this local remeshing algorithm, two stages are used: edge-based element subdivision and node repositioning. Five representative numerical examples are shown, consisting of a bi-clamped beam, two versions of a square plate, the Keesecker pressurized cylinder problem, the Hexcan problem and the Muscat-Fenech and Atkins plate. All problems were successfully solved and the proposed solution was found to be robust and efficient.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Damage
  • Elasto-plastic constitutive laws
  • Fracture
  • Phase-field model
  • Shells
  • Two independent phase fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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