Phase field (PF) models are an increasingly popular method of numerically modelling fracture problems. While research has focused on the practical applications and computational efficiency of PF methods, little discussion exists around the merits of different methods of prescribing initial cracks in PF fracture problems. This paper presents a comparison of three methods for modelling pre-existing cracks, through Dirichlet-type PF boundary conditions, an initial strain history term, and through physical discontinuities in the mesh. The comparison is made using the load-displacement responses for a common tensile benchmark fracture problem.
Sims, B., Bird, R., Giani, S., & Coombs, W. (2023). An investigation into the methods for modelling pre-existing cracks in phase field problems.