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On the finite element analysis of inverse problems in fracture mechanics

Mohamed S. Gadala (Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and)
Andrew D.B. McCullough (Lincoln Composites, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 1 June 1999


This paper presents a numerical study of inverse parameter identification problems in fracture mechanics. Inverse methodology is applied to the detection of subsurface cracks and to the study of propagating cracks. The procedure for detecting subsurface cracks combines the finite element method with a sequential quadratic programming algorithm to solve for the unknown geometric parameters associated with the internal flaw. The procedure utilizes finite element substructuring capabilities in order to minimize the processing and solution time for practical problems. The finite element method and non‐linear optimization are also used in determining the direction a crack will propagate in a heterogeneous planar domain. This procedure involves determining the direction that produces the maximum strain energy release for a given increment of crack growth. The procedure is applied to several numerical examples. The results of these numerical studies coincide with theoretical predictions and experimentally observed crack behavior.



Gadala, M.S. and McCullough, A.D.B. (1999), "On the finite element analysis of inverse problems in fracture mechanics", Engineering Computations, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 481-502.




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