Concurrently coupled solid shell-based adaptive multiscale method for fracture

PR Budarapu and J Reinoso and M Paggi, COMPUTER METHODS IN APPLIED MECHANICS AND ENGINEERING, 319, 338-365 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.cma.2017.02.023

A solid shell-based adaptive atomistic-continuum numerical method is herein proposed to simulate complex crack growth patterns in thin-walled structures. A hybrid solid shell formulation relying on the combined use of the enhanced assumed strain (EAS) and the assumed natural strain (ANS) methods has been considered to efficiently model the material in thin structures at the continuum level. The phantom node method (PNM) is employed to model the discontinuities in the bulk. The discontinuous solid shell element is then concurrently coupled with a molecular statics model placed around the crack tip. The coupling between the coarse scale and the fine scale is realized through the use of ghost atoms, whose positions are interpolated from the coarse scale solution and enforced as boundary conditions to the fine scale model. In the proposed numerical scheme, the fine scale region is adaptively enlarged as the crack propagates and the region behind the crack tip is adaptively coarsened in order to reduce the computation costs. An energy criterion is used to detect the crack tip location. All the atomistic simulations are carried out using the LAMMPS software. A computational framework has been developed in MATLAB to trigger LAMMPS through system command. This allows a two way interaction between the coarse and fine scales in MATLAB platform, where the boundary conditions to the fine region are extracted from the coarse scale, and the crack tip location from the atomistic model is transferred back to the continuum scale. The developed framework has been applied to study crack growth in the energy minimization problems. Inspired by the influence of fracture on current- voltage characteristics of thin Silicon photovoltaic cells, the cubic diamond lattice structure of Silicon is used to model the material in the fine scale region, whilst the Tersoff potential function is employed to model the atom atom interactions. The versatility and robustness of the proposed methodology is demonstrated by means of several fracture applications. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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