Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The understanding and the prediction of the failure behaviour of materials with pronounced microstructural effects is of crucial importance. This paper presents a novel computational methodology for the handling of fracture on the basis of the microscale behaviour. The basic principles presented here can allow the incorporation of an adaptive discretization scheme of the structure as a function of the evolution of strain localization in the underlying microstructure. The proposed quasi-discrete methodology bridges two scales: the scale of the material microstructure, modelled with a continuum type description; and the structural scale, where a discrete description of the material is adopted. The damaging material at the structural scale is divided into unit volumes, called cells, which are represented as a discrete network of points. The scale transition is inspired by computational homogenization techniques, however it does not rely on classical averaging theorems. The structural discrete equilibrium problem is formulated in terms of the underlying fine scale computations. Particular boundary conditions are developed on the scale of the material microstructure to address damage localization problems. The performance of this quasi-discrete method with the enhanced boundary conditions is assessed using different computational test cases. The predictions of the quasi-discrete scheme agree well with reference solutions obtained through direct numerical simulations, both in terms of crack patterns and load vs. displacement responses.