School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences

Modelling Ductile Fracture in Steel with the Scaled Boundary Finite Element Method

Project Title:

Modelling Ductile Fracture in Steel with the Scaled Boundary Finite Element Method


Ooi Ean Tat; Fatemeh Javidan

Contact Person:

Ooi Ean Tat (

Project Brief: The construction industry nowadays adopts novel materials such as high strength steel, which are products of new manufacturing techniques and processes. These processes alter the steel’s microstructure such as its grain size and grain distribution; and phase composition. The different phases in the microstructure, as a result of these manufacturing techniques, play a huge role in determining the final material characteristics of steel such as the yield and ultimate strength and energy absorption. To optimise the design of steel, numerical modelling is usually employed to simulate the material response, which is generally nonlinear due to the nucleation of micro-cracks, coalescence and propagation of macro-cracks within the material. There is a knowledge gap in modelling such types of processes using current numerical methods due to the difficulty in handling the nonlinear response and the changes in the mesh as the fractures evolve.

This project aims to develop a numerical tool based on the scaled-boundary finite element method to model ductile fracture in steel. Using the advantages of the scaled boundary finite element method such as flexibility in image-based mesh generation and adaptivity to evolving fractures, a novel modelling technique will be developed to tackle the difficulties in modelling such types of material response experienced by mainstream numerical methods. The outcome of the project will enhance the analysis of ductile fracture in novel materials.