Document Type


Date of Original Version



Civil and Environmental Engineering


This paper simulates fracture in notched mortar beams under three-point bending using extended finite element method (XFEM) and peridynamics. A three-phase microstructure (i.e., cement paste, aggregates, and paste-aggregate interface) is used for constitutive modeling of the mortar to obtain the elastic properties for simulation. In the XFEM approach, the simulated homogenized elastic modulus is used along with the total fracture energy of the cement mortar in a damage model to predict the fracture response of the mortar including crack propagation and its fracture parameters (Mode I stress intensity factor, KIC and critical crack tip opening displacement, CTODC). The damage model incorporates a maximum principal stress-based damage initiation criteria and a traction-separation law for damage evolution. In the peridynamics approach, a bond-based model involving a prototype microelastic brittle (PMB) material model is used. The elastic properties and fracture energy release rates are used as inputs in the PMB model, along with the choice of peridynamic horizon size. Comparison with experimental fracture properties (KIC, CTODC) as well as crack propagation paths from digital image correlation show that both the approaches yield satisfactory results, particularly for KIC and crack extension. Thus, both these methods can be adopted for fracture simulation of cement-based materials.