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Computational modelling of brittle failure in polycrystalline materials using cohesive-frictional grain-boundary elements


A 3D grain-level formulation for the study of brittle failure in polycrystalline microstructures is presented. The microstructure is represented as a Voronoi tessellation and the boundary element method is used to model each crystal of the aggregate. The continuity of the aggregate is enforced through suitable conditions at the intergranular interfaces. The grain-boundary model takes into account the onset and evolution of damage by means of an irreversible linear cohesive law, able to address mixed-mode failure conditions. Upon interface failure, a non-linear frictional contact analysis is introduced for addressing the contact between micro-crack surfaces. An incremental-iterative algorithm is used for tracking the micro-degradation and cracking evolution. A numerical test shows the capability of the formulation.