A comparative study on finite element methods for dynamic fracture
The performance of finite element methods for dynamic crack propagation in brittle materials is studied. Three methods are considered: the extended finite element method (XFEM), element deletion method and interelement crack method. The extended finite element method is a method for arbitrary crack propagation without remeshing. In element deletion methods, elements that meet a fracture criterion are deleted. In interelement crack methods, the crack is limited to element edges; the separation of these edges is governed by a cohesive law. We show that XFEM and interelement method show similar crack speeds and crack paths. However, both fail to predict a benchmark experiment without adjustment of the energy release rate. The element deletion method performs very poorly for the refinements studied, and is unable to predict crack branching.