Document Type

Computational mechanics paper

Publication details

Ooi, ET, Man, H, Natarajan, S, Song, C, Tin-Loi, F 2014, 'A quadtree-based scaled boundary finite element method for crack propagation modelling', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. II, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 813-818. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



The quadtree is a hierarchical-type data structure where each parent is recursively divided into four children. This structure makes it particularly efficient for adaptive mesh refinement in regions with localised gradients. Compared with unstructured triangles, mesh generation is more efficient using quadtree decompositions. The finite number of patterns in the quadtree decomposition makes it efficient for data storage and retrieval. Motivated by these advantages, a crack propagation modelling approach using a quadtree-based scaled boundary finite element method (SBFEM) is developed. Starting from the formulation of an arbitrary n-sided polygon element, each quadrant in the quadtree mesh is treated as a polygon within the framework of the SBFEM. Special techniques to treat the hanging nodes are not necessary. Moreover, the SBFEM enables accurate calculation of the stress intensity factors directly from its solutions without local mesh refinement or asymptotic enrichment functions. When a crack propagates, it is only necessary to split each quadrant cut by the crack into two. These quadrants are polygons that can be directly modelled by the SBFEM. Changes to the mesh are minimal. The efficiency of this approach is demonstrated using numerical benchmarks.