A new variant of the Element-Free Galerkin (EFG) method, that combines the diffraction method, to characterize the crack tip solution, and the Heaviside enrichment function for representing discontinuity due to a crack, has been used to model crack propagation through non-homogenous materials. In the case of interface crack propagation, the kink angle is predicted by applying the maximum tangential principal stress (MTPS) criterion in conjunction with consideration of the energy release rate (ERR). The MTPS criterion is applied to the crack tip stress field described by both the stress intensity factor (SIF) and the T-stress, which are extracted using the interaction integral method. The proposed EFG method has been developed and applied for 2D case studies involving a crack in an orthotropic material, crack along an interface and a crack terminating at a bi-material interface, under mechanical or thermal loading; this is done to demonstrate the advantages and efficiency of the proposed methodology. The computed SIFs, T-stress and the predicted interface crack kink angles are compared with existing results in the literature and are found to be in good agreement. An example of crack growth through a particle-reinforced composite materials, which may involve crack meandering around the particle, is reported.
Muthu, N., Maiti, S. K., Falzon, B. G., & Yan, W. (2016). Crack propagation in non-homogenous materials: Evaluation of mixed-mode SIFs, T-stress and kinking angle using a variant EFG method. Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements, 72, 11-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enganabound.2016.07.017, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enganabound.2016.07.017