This project addresses the development of a new theoretical and methodological framework for fracture mechanics which, in particular, will allow for numerical simulations of large-scale problems on recent and upcoming parallel architectures. On the modelling side, phase-field models as a novel approaches for the representation of crack interfaces will be exploited. Here the focus will be on modelling fracture and fragmentation in a pressurized domain. On the discretisation methods¹ side, new technologies such as NURBS based finite element spaces will be used. Recent developments combining the flexibility of different traditional mesh refinement techniques and allowing for the design of efficient approaches on massively parallel architectures will be employed.
In addition to new phase-field approaches to fracture we will also extend our computational framework in order to deal with contact and frictional effects along the interior crack interfaces. In this way the method will be able of dealing with both, strongly non-linear as well as non-smooth effects, in a consistent manner. The resulting framework will be designed in a flexible way which will allow its application also beyond hydraulic fracture problems, thereby on the long run serving as a basis for a new class of modelling and simulation tools.