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# IDENTIFICATION OF COHESIVE CRACK

## FRACTURE PARAMETERS USING

MATHEMATICAL PROGRAMMING

by
Norbert S. Que

## A thesis submitted in fulfillment of the

requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

## School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

February, 2003
i

ABSTRACT

## This thesis is concerned with the characterisation of the parameters governing

the tension-softening relations of the cohesive crack model. Parameter identification is
an important area in fracture mechanics as it enables the use of a fracture model for
the simulation of fracture processes in structures. Research, however, has shown that
such a task is not trivial and continues to pose challenging problems to
experimentalists and analysts alike. This dissertation presents general and efficient
indirect methods for the characterisation of mode I fracture parameters defining the
cohesive crack model.

## The identification problem is formulated as a special type of inverse problem.

The formulation is in the form of a constrained optimisation problem known as a
mathematical program with equilibrium constraints characterised, in the present
instance, by complementarity conditions involving the orthogonality of two-sign
constrained vectors. The solution of such a mathematical program is computationally
challenging as it is disjunctive and nonconvex by nature. A number of nonlinear
programming based approaches are proposed, after appropriate reformulation of the
mathematical program as an equivalent nonlinear programming problem.

Actual experimental data are used to validate and determine the most suitable
algorithm for parameter identification. It was found that the smoothing-based method
is by far superior than other schemes. As the problem is nonconvex and the nonlinear
program can only guarantee a local or stationary point, global optimisation procedures
are introduced in order to verify the accuracy of the solutions obtained by the
algorithm.

Two evolutionary search methods capable of finding the global optimum are
implemented for parameter identification. The results generated by the evolutionary
search techniques confirm the reliability of the solutions identified by the best
nonlinear programming algorithm. All computations carried out in the thesis suggest
the suitability and robustness of the selected algorithm for parameter identification.
ii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

## I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Francis Tin-Loi for without

his support, advice, and guidance it is likely that this thesis would not have been
completed. His insights and ideas helped me overcome a number of hurdles in the
course of doing this research toward the completion of this thesis. I would also like to
thank Dr. John Watson for his insightful discussions on the boundary element method.

I wish to thank the Department of Science and Technology for offering the
scholarship which allowed me take up doctoral studies at the University of New South
Wales, Australia. I also appreciate the support given to me by the University of the
Philippines. I would also like to acknowledge the assistance extended to me by Mr.
Francois Fernandes.

## I am much obliged to my tennis buddies who provided me some helpful

diversion from the daily grinds of research. Likewise, to all my friends in the School
of Civil and Environmental Engineering for their warmth and friendship.

I wish to thank my friends in the Mascot care group for their prayers. I would
also like to extend my gratitude to all my friends at the Punchbowl Baptist Memorial
Church and the Community Bible Church (formerly known as St. Matthias@UNSW).

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my brothers and sisters, most
especially my mother and my in-laws in Cebu, for their encouragement.

## I am deeply grateful to Carlos and Florence Ringor for their unequivocal

support to my family and me. They are our family in Sydney and their friendship and
love will always be cherished and remembered.

## My gratitude also goes to my lovely wife, Lei, whose understanding, support

and patience are instrumental in the completion of this thesis. Of course, doing
research and writing this thesis would have been boring if not for my daughter, Yumi,
who always knows how to cheer my day up.

Above all, I would like to dedicate this thesis to Jesus Christ for sustaining my
family and me all these years. To Him be the glory.
iii

ABSTRACT i

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii

NOTATION x

## LIST OF FIGURES xii

LIST OF TABLES xx

1 INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Background 1

## 2 FRACTURE MECHANICS AND THE COHESIVE

CRACK MODEL – A SURVEY 11

2.1 Introduction 11

Parameters 27

## 2.5 A Review of Indirect Methods of Obtaining Cohesive Crack

Parameters 36

2.6 Summary 45
iv

3 STATE PROBLEM 47

3.1 Introduction 47

## 4 PARAMETER IDENTIFICATION: FORMULATION

AND NLP SOLUTION APPROACHES 107

v

set 144

set 144

outlier 147

vi

## 5 IDENTIFICATION USING EXPERIMENTAL DATA

AND OTHER METHODS 154

Laws 179

## 5.4.2 Parameter Identification of LMC/EPFL Data Using Other

Softening Laws 182

## 5.4.3 Parameter Identification of Danish 1 Data Using Other

Softening Laws 185

## 5.4.4 Parameter Identification of Danish 2 Data Using Other

Softening Laws 188

## 5.4.5 Discussion 191

5.5 Time Reduction Techniques for the Parameter Identification Problem 192

vii

## 6.4.1 Mutation 235

- DE/rand/1 236

- DE/best/1 236

- DE/rand-to-best/1 236

- DE/rand/2 237

- DE/best/2 237

viii

and DE 251

DE 260

DE 270

ix

REFERENCES 282
x

NOTATION

## CR crossover factor used in differential evolution

D size of parameter vector
e vector of ones
E Young’s modulus
f nonnegative vector interpreted as the activation function

ft tensile strength

## F mutation factor used in differential evolution

G current generation
GF fracture energy

## J set of all measurements

L1 least-absolute norm

## L1 − L2 norm of L1 and L2 difference

Lp least-power norm

N size of population

## r influence vector obtainable as a by-product of the

computational model
t normal traction at the crack interface
t vector of normal tractions at the crack interface

tc tensile strength

ta , tb breakpoint strength

## te vector of elastic tractions at the crack interface due to

externally applied actions
xi

w crack width
w vector of displacement discontinuities at the crack interface

## z nonnegative vector interpreted as crack opening

displacements
Z influence matrix interpreted as the normal tractions caused
by unit crack openings in the otherwise unloaded structure
Γ boundary surface

## σ (w) nonlinear softening curve equation

σu modulus of rupture

υ Poisson’s ratio
ω objective function, error norm or identified error
ω̂ real error
Ω boundary domain
xii

LIST OF FIGURES

## Figure 1.1 Linear softening law 2

Figure 2.1 Relative sizes of the fracture process zone for (a) brittle, (b)
ductile, (c) quasibrittle materials. 14
Figure 2.2 A generic nonlinear softening curve. 16
Figure 2.3 Piecewise linear stress-strain curve for the crack band
model. 17
Figure 2.4 Definition of the two-parameter fracture model. 18
Figure 2.5 Size effect law as defined in Equation (2.5). 20
Figure 2.6 Dugdale’s plastic zone model. 21
Figure 2.7 Stress-deformation behaviour of a quasibrittle specimen in
tension. 22
Figure 2.8 Definition of the cohesive crack model. 24
Figure 2.9 A schematic illustration of a uniaxial tensile test. 28
Figure 2.10 A schematic illustration of a tensile splitting test. 31
Figure 2.11 Illustration of a three-point bend test. 32
Figure 2.12 Work of fracture as an area in the load-displacement (p-δ)
curve. 33
Figure 2.13 Common wedge splitting shapes (a) cubical – mould
fabricated, (b) and (c) cylindrical – cored from existing
structures (Brühwiler and Wittmann, 1990). 34
Figure 2.14 Schematic illustration of a wedge splitting test (Brühwiler
and Wittmann, 1990). 35

## Figure 3.1 Holonomic two-branch softening law (Bolzon et al., 1994). 51

Figure 3.2 Definition of a two-branch softening law using actual
slopes (Tin-Loi and Xia, 2001). 54
Figure 3.3 Definition of a nonlinear softening curve. 55
Figure 3.4 Definition of a three-branch softening law using actual
slopes. 58
Figure 3.5 Problem definition for mode I fracture. 61
xiii

## Figure 3.6 Representation of a 2D body bounded by boundary Γ. 64

Figure 3.7 Definition of the displacement response due to a unit load
applied in the X1 direction. 66
Figure 3.8 Convention for local axis interface system. 72
Figure 3.9 Node numbering scheme for zones 1 and 2. 72
Figure 3.10 Physical interpretation for the determination of the Z
matrix. 79
Figure 3.11 Cantilever beam problem. 81
Figure 3.12 Cantilever beam under transverse parabolic load at both
ends. 82
Figure 3.13 Comparison of stress results at section A-A as predicted by
beam theory and two-zone BEM with 14 (total) quadratic
elements. 83
Figure 3.14 Comparison of stress results at section A-A as predicted by
beam theory and two-zone BEM with 28 (total) quadratic
elements. 85
Figure 3.15 Geometry of a typical three-point bending beam. 85
Figure 3.16 Discretisation of a two-zone BEM using 16 elements on
each zone. 88
Figure 3.17 Comparison of normal stresses at section A-B obtained
BEM(16x16x2), exact solution and approximate solution. 89
Figure 3.18 Illustration of local stress disturbance due to an abrupt
change of length in the adjacent element. 90
Figure 3.19 Comparison of normal stresses at section A-B obtained
from BEM(63x63x20), exact solution and approximate
solution. 91
Figure 3.20 Distribution of normal stresses at section A-B as predicted
by two-zone BEM and FEM. 92
Figure 3.21 GAMS coding of the state problem (3.74). 100
Figure 3.22 Geometry of notched three-point bend specimen. 102
Figure 3.23 Two-branch softening law for example 1. 103
Figure 3.24 Softening response of example 1 using two-branch law. 104
Figure 3.25 Softening response of example 2 using power law. 105
xiv

## Figure No. Title Page

Figure 4.1 Diagram of the feasible solution space for Example 4.1. 118
Figure 4.2 Plot of the value of the objective function along the x-axis 119
Figure 4.3 Diagram of the feasible solution space for Example 4.2. 120
Figure 4.4 Smoothing of complementarity conditions. 126
Figure 4.5 Three-point bend model used to generate the pseudo data. 131
Figure 4.6 Perfect pseudo data points generated from a three-point
bend model. 132
Figure 4.7 Wedge splitting model used to generate the pseudo data. 133
Figure 4.8 Perfect pseudo data points generated from a wedge splitting
model. 133
Figure 4.9 Data 1: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
responses. 136
Figure 4.10 Data 2: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
responses. 138
Figure 4.11 Data 2: details of p – u responses at the peak load. 138
Figure 4.12 Perturbed data set. 143
Figure 4.13 Data set with outlier. 144
Figure 4.14 Perfect data: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
response. 145
Figure 4.15 Perturbed data: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
response. 146
Figure 4.16 Perturbed data: details of p – u responses at the peak load. 147
Figure 4.17 Identified p – u response for a data with outlier using L1 –
L2 norm. 148
Figure 4.18 Data with outlier: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
response. 149
Figure 4.19 Data with outlier: details of p – u responses at the peak

Figure 5.1 Milan three-point bend test showing grid points where
horizontal displacements are measured. 156
Figure 5.2 Dimensions for the structural model of Milan three-point
bend test. 157
Figure 5.4 Details of the LMC/EPFL wedge splitting test. 158
xv

## Figure No. Title Page

Figure 5.3 Plot of the 48 recorded data points and the chosen subset of
32 data points for the Milan three-point bend test. 157
Figure 5.5 Plot of the 128 recorded data points of the LMC/EPFL
wedge splitting test. 159
Figure 5.6 Plot of the 128 recorded data points and the chosen subset
of 32 data points for the LMC/EPFL wedge splitting test. 160
Figure 5.7 Dimensions for the structural model of Danish three-point
bend test. 161
Figure 5.8 Data points for the three-point bend test Danish normal
strength concrete. 162
Figure 5.9 Data points for the three-point bend test Danish high
strength concrete. 162
Figure 5.10 Milan data: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
responses. 165
Figure 5.11 Milan data: details of p – u responses at the peak load. 166
Figure 5.12 Milan data: two-branch softening laws determined by the
NLP-based algorithms. 166
Figure 5.13 LMC/EPFL data: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
responses. 169
Figure 5.14 LMC/EPFL data: details of p – u responses at the peak
Figure 5.15 LMC/EPFL data: two-branch softening laws determined by
the NLP-based algorithms. 170
Figure 5.16 LMC/EPFL data: comparison of p – u curves predicted by
the smoothing and penalty algorithms. 171
Figure 5.17 LMC/EPFL data: two-branch softening laws determined by
smoothing and penalty algorithms. 171
Figure 5.18 Danish 1 data: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
responses. 173
Figure 5.19 Danish 1 data: two-branch softening laws determined by
the NLP-based algorithms. 174
Figure 5.20 Danish 1 data: details of p – u responses at the peak load. 174
Figure 5.21 Danish 2 data: comparison of predicted with actual p – u
responses. 176
Figure 5.22 Danish 2 data: details of p – u responses at the peak load. 177
xvi

## Figure 5.23 Danish 2 data: two-branch softening laws determined by

the NLP-based algorithms. 177
Figure 5.24 Milan data: predicted p – u responses of various softening
laws. 181
Figure 5.25 Milan data: details of p – u curves at the peak load. 181
Figure 5.26 Milan data: identified softening curves associated with the
softening laws. 182
Figure 5.27 LMC/EPFL data: predicted p – u responses of various
softening laws. 184
Figure 5.28 LMC/EPFL data: identified softening curves associated
with the softening laws. 186
Figure 5.29 Danish 1 data: predicted p – u responses of various
softening laws. 187
Figure 5.30 Danish 1 data: details of p – u curves at the peak load. 188
Figure 5.31 Danish 1 data: identified softening curves associated with
the softening laws. 189
Figure 5.32 Danish 2 data: identified softening curves associated with
the softening laws. 190
Figure 5.33 Danish 2 data: details of p – u curves at the peak load. 191
Figure 5.34 Milan data: identified p–u responses of smoothing and
smoothing-Tikhonov algorithms for a three-branch law. 195
Figure 5.35 Milan data: identified three-branch law for smoothing and
smoothing-Tikhonov algorithms. 196
Figure 5.36 Milan data: identified p–u responses of smoothing and
Aggregation techniques for a two-branch law. 200
Figure 5.37 Milan data: identified p–u responses of smoothing and
Aggregation techniques for a three-branch law. 201
Figure 5.38 Chosen subset in Milan data for the Presolve technique. 203
Figure 5.39 Milan data: identified p–u responses of smoothing and
Presolve techniques for a three-branch law. 205
Figure 5.40 Chosen subset in LMC/EPFL data for the Presolve
technique. 206
Figure 5.41 LMC/EPFL data: identified p–u responses of smoothing
and Presolve techniques for a two-branch law. 207
xvii

## Figure 5.42 LMC/EPFL data: identified p–u responses of smoothing

and Presolve techniques for a three-branch law. 208
Figure 5.43 LMC/EPFL data: identified three-branch law for the
smoothing algorithm and the Presolve technique. 209
Figure 5.44 Milan data: identified p–u responses of smoothing and
iterative Presolve techniques for a three-branch law. 212
Figure 5.45 LMC/EPFL data: identified p–u responses of smoothing
and iterative Presolve techniques for a two-branch law. 213

Figure 6.1 Pseudo data: GA iteration history of the power law. 232
Figure 6.2 Pseudo data: fitness contour of the power law. 233
Figure 6.3 Pseudo data: fitness landscape of the power law. 233
Figure 6.4 Pseudo data: GA iteration history of the two-branch law. 234
Figure 6.5 DE procedure in generating a trial vector. 240
Figure 6.6 Pseudo data: iteration histories for DE/best/2/bin and
DE/best/2/exp strategies using a two-branch law. 243
Figure 6.7 Pseudo data: DE iteration history of the power law. 244
Figure 6.8 Milan data: GA and DE iteration histories of the power law. 246
Figure 6.9 Milan data: fitness contour of the power law. 247
Figure 6.10 Milan data: fitness landscape of the power law. 248
Figure 6.11 Milan data: GA and DE iteration histories of the two-
branch law. 249
Figure 6.12 Milan data: identified p-u responses of smoothing, GA and
DE methods for a three-branch law. 250
Figure 6.13 Milan data: identified three-branch law for smoothing, GA
and DE methods. 251
Figure 6.14 Milan data: GA and DE iteration histories of the three-
branch law. 252
Figure 6.15 LMC/EPFL data: GA and DE iteration histories of the
power law. 253
Figure 6.16 LMC/EPFL data: fitness contour of the power law. 254
Figure 6.17 LMC/EPFL data: fitness landscape of the power law. 254
Figure 6.18 LMC/EPFL data: fitness contour of the power-exponential
law. 255
xviii

## Figure 6.19 LMC/EPFL data: fitness landscape of the power-

exponential law. 256
Figure 6.20 LMC/EPFL data: GA and DE iteration histories of the
power-exponential law. 256
Figure 6.21 LMC/EPFL data: GA and DE iteration histories of the two-
branch law. 258
Figure 6.22 LMC/EPFL data: GA and DE iteration histories of the
three-branch law. 259
Figure 6.23 LMC/EPFL data: identified p-u responses of smoothing,
GA and DE methods for a three-branch law. 260
Figure 6.24 LMC/EPFL data: identified three-branch law for
smoothing, GA and DE methods. 261
Figure 6.25 Danish 1 data: GA and DE iteration histories of the power
law. 262
Figure 6.26 Danish 1 data: fitness contour of the power law. 263
Figure 6.27 Danish 1 data: fitness landscape of the power law. 263
Figure 6.28 Danish 1 data: GA and DE iteration histories of the power-
exponential law. 264
Figure 6.29 Danish 1 data: fitness contour of the power-exponential
law. 265
Figure 6.30 Danish 1 data: fitness landscape of the power-exponential
law. 265
Figure 6.31 Danish 1 data: identified p-u responses of smoothing, GA
and DE methods for a two-branch law. 266
Figure 6.32 Danish 1 data: GA and DE iteration histories of the two-
branch law. 267
Figure 6.33 Danish 1 data: GA and DE iteration histories of the three-
branch law. 268
Figure 6.34 Danish 1 data: identified p-u responses of smoothing, GA
and DE methods for a three-branch law. 269
Figure 6.35 Danish 1 data: identified three-branch law for smoothing,
GA and DE methods. 269
Figure 6.36 Danish 2 data: GA and DE iteration histories of the power
law. 271
Figure 6.37 Danish 2 data: fitness contour of the power law. 272
xix

## Figure No. Title Page

Figure 6.38 Danish 2 data: fitness landscape of the power law. 272
Figure 6.39 Danish 2 data: GA and DE iteration histories of the two-
branch law. 273
Figure 6.40 Danish 2 data: identified p-u responses of smoothing, GA
and DE methods for a three-branch law. 274
Figure 6.41 Danish 2 data: identified three-branch law for smoothing,
GA and DE methods. 275
xx

LIST OF TABLES

## Table 3.1 Stress and displacement values of a cantilever beam

obtained from beam theory and 14-element two-zone BEM
analysis. 83
Table 3.2 Stress and displacement values of a cantilever beam
obtained from refined two-zone BEM discretisation. 84
Table 3.3 β values for the exact and the approximate solutions. 87

solutions. 87

## Table 3.5 σ x values for BEM(16x16x2) compared with the values

predicted using the exact and approximate solutions. 89

solutions. 91

## Table 4.1 Results of the parameter identification of Data 1 for

different NLP-based algorithms using standard least-
squares norm. 134
Table 4.2 Updated results of the parameter identification of Data 1 for
different NLP-based algorithms using standard least-
squares norm. 135
Table 4.3 Parameter identification of Data 2 using different
algorithms. 137
Table 4.4 Commonly used robust estimators. 140
Table 4.5 Results of the parameter identification of perfect data using
different error norms. 145
Table 4.6 Results of the parameter identification of perturbed data
using different error norms. 146
Table 4.7 Results of the parameter identification of data with outlier
using different error norms. 148
Table 4.8 Results of the parameter identification of Data 1 using L1
norm. 151
Table 4.9 Results of the parameter identification of Data 2 using L1
norm. 151
xxi

## Table 5.1 Settings of NLP-based algorithms for Milan data. 164

Table 5.2 Results of parameter identification of Milan data using
different NLP-based algorithms. 165
Table 5.3 Settings of NLP-based algorithms for LMC/EPFL data. 168
Table 5.4 Results of parameter identification of LMC/EPFL data
using different NLP-based algorithms. 168
Table 5.5 Settings of NLP-based algorithms for Danish 1 data. 172
Table 5.6 Results of parameter identification of Danish 1 data for
different NLP-based algorithms. 172
Table 5.7 Settings of NLP-based algorithms for Danish 2 data. 175
Table 5.8 Results of parameter identification of Danish 2 data for
different NLP-based algorithms. 176
Table 5.9 Identified parameters of different softening laws using
Milan data. 180
Table 5.10 Other information related to the parameter identification of
Milan data. 180
Table 5.11 Identified parameters of different softening laws using
LMC/EPFL data. 183
Table 5.12 Information related to the parameter identification of
LMC/EPLF data. 183
Table 5.13 Identified parameters of different softening laws using
Danish 1 data. 186
Table 5.14 Information related to the parameter identification of
Danish 1 data. 187
Table 5.15 Identified parameters of different softening laws using
Danish 2 data. 189
Table 5.16 Other information related to the parameter identification of
Danish 2 data. 191
Table 5.17 Milan data: comparison of results for a two-branch law
between smoothing and smoothing-Tikhonov algorithms. 194
Table 5.18 Milan data: comparison of results for a three-branch law
between smoothing and smoothing-Tikhonov algorithms. 195
Table 5.19 Milan data: identification results using Aggregation
technique for a two-branch law. 199
xxii

## Table 5.20 Milan data: identification results using Aggregation

technique for a three-branch law. 200
Table 5.21 Milan data: identification results using Presolve technique
for a two-branch law. 204
Table 5.22 Milan data: identification results using Presolve technique
for a three-branch law. 204
Table 5.23 Milan data: identification results using Presolve technique
for power law. 205
Table 5.24 LMC/EPFL data: identification results using Presolve
technique for a two-branch law. 207
Table 5.25 LMC/EPFL data: identification results using Presolve
technique for a three-branch law. 208
Table 5.26 LMC/EPFL data: identification results using Presolve
technique for power law. 210
Table 5.27 LMC/EPFL data: identification results using Presolve
technique for power-exponential law. 210
Table 5.28 Milan data: identification results using the iterative
Presolve technique for a three-branch law. 211
Table 5.29 LMC/EPFL data: identification results using the iterative
Presolve technique for a two-branch law. 213

## Table 6.1 Settings of the crossover operators used in GAOT. 228

Table 6.2 Settings of the mutation operators used in GAOT. 229
Table 6.3 Pseudo data: identification of the power law using GA. 231
Table 6.4 Pseudo data: identification of the two-branch law using GA. 234
Table 6.5 Pseudo data: two-branch law parameters identified using
different DE strategies. 242
Table 6.6 Pseudo data: identification of the power law using DE. 243
Table 6.7 Milan data: identification of the power law using GA and
DE. 245
Table 6.8 Milan data: identification of the two-branch law using GA
and DE. 248
Table 6.9 Milan data: identification of the three-branch law using GA
and DE. 250
xxiii

## Table 6.10 LMC/EPFL data: identification of the power law using GA

and DE. 252
Table 6.11 LMC/EPFL data: identification of the power-exponential
law using GA and DE. 255
Table 6.12 LMC/EPFL data: identification of the two-branch law using
GA and DE. 257
Table 6.13 LMC/EPFL data: identification of the three-branch law
using GA and DE. 258
Table 6.14 Danish 1 data: identification of the power law using GA
and DE. 261
Table 6.15 Danish 1 data: identification of the power-exponential law
using GA and DE. 264
Table 6.16 LMC/EPFL data: identification of the two-branch law using
GA and DE. 266
Table 6.17 Danish 1 data: identification of the three-branch law using
GA and DE. 268
Table 6.18 Danish 2 data: identification of the power law using GA
and DE. 270
Table 6.19 Danish 2 data: identification of the two-branch law using
GA and DE. 272
Table 6.20 Danish 2 data: identification of the three-branch law using
GA and DE. 274