Monte Carlo simulation of complex cohesive fracture in random heterogeneous quasi-brittle materials

Z. J. Yang, X. T. Su, Jian Fei Chen, G. H. Liu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    160 Citations (Scopus)


    A numerical method is developed to simulate complex two-dimensional crack propagation in quasi-brittle materials considering random heterogeneous fracture properties. Potential cracks are represented by pre-inserted cohesive elements with tension and shear softening constitutive laws modelled by spatially varying Weibull random fields. Monte Carlo simulations of a concrete specimen under uni-axial tension were carried out with extensive investigation of the effects of important numerical algorithms and material properties on numerical efficiency and stability, crack propagation processes and load-carrying capacities. It was found that the homogeneous model led to incorrect crack patterns and load–displacement curves with strong mesh-dependence, whereas the heterogeneous model predicted realistic, complicated fracture processes and load-carrying capacity of little mesh-dependence. Increasing the variance of the tensile strength random fields with increased heterogeneity led to reduction in the mean peak load and increase in the standard deviation. The developed method provides a simple but effective tool for assessment of structural reliability and calculation of characteristic material strength for structural design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3222-3234
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
    Issue number17
    Early online date24 Apr 2009
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2009


    • Cohesive elements
    • Monte Carlo simulation
    • Finite element method
    • Random heterogeneous fracture
    • Quasi-brittle materials


    Dive into the research topics of 'Monte Carlo simulation of complex cohesive fracture in random heterogeneous quasi-brittle materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this