Combining the thick level set method with plasticity

L. A.T. Mororó*, F. P. van der Meer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The Thick Level Set (TLS) method has been proposed as a new approach to the modeling of damage growth in solids. The fronts of damaged zones are implicitly represented as a level set of an auxiliary field whose evolution is accomplished by the level set method. The TLS model contains a characteristic length to obtain a non-local description that prevents spurious localization in the strain field. The update of the damage is indirectly performed by integrating local values of energy release rate over this characteristic length. This model offers an automatic transition from damage to fracture, and deals with merging and branching cracks as well as crack initiation in an easy and robust manner. In this paper, the TLS is applied to simulate the formation of cusps in a polymer matrix loaded in shear. Realistic simulation of this process requires the damage model to be combined with plasticity in order to capture the behavior of the material prior to failure. To accommodate for plasticity, several changes to the TLS framework are introduced. A strength-based criterion for initiation of damage based on the ultimate yield surface of such plasticity model is proposed. A mapping operator for transferring history is included if the integration scheme in element changes. Furthermore, a new loading scheme is devised that does not rely on secant unloading. Numerical experiments demonstrate the accuracy and effectiveness of the proposed model to handle simulation of crack growth in a medium with hardening plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103857
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics, A/Solids
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Ductile fracture
  • Mode II loading
  • Plasticity
  • Polymer matrix
  • Thick level set


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