Modeling and Simulating Methods for the Desiccation Cracking

Sayako Hirobe, Kenji Oguni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The desiccation cracks can be observed on dry-out soil fields or other various materials under desiccation. These cracks have a net-like structure and tessellate the surface of the materials into polygonal cells. The averaged cell size changes systematically depending on the size of the specimen. In spite of the varieties of the materials, these fundamental features of the cell topology are conserved. This implies the existence of the governing mechanism behind the desiccation crack phenomenon regardless of the materials. In this paper, the desiccation crack phenomenon is modeled by the coupling of desiccation, deformation, and fracture. We perform simulations for the reproduction of the desiccation cracking based on this coupling model. In the simulations, the finite element analysis for the desiccation problem and the analysis of particle discretization scheme finite element method for the deformation and the fracture problems are weakly coupled. The results of the simulations show the satisfactory agreements with the experimental observations in terms of the geometry of the crack pattern, the increase tendency of the averaged cell size depending on the size of the specimen, and the hierarchical sequence of the cell formation. These agreements indicate that the proposed model and method capture the fundamental features and the mechanism of the desiccation cracking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1840011
JournalInternational Journal of Computational Methods
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 1


  • Desiccation cracks
  • coupled problem
  • pattern formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computational Mathematics


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