Numerical simulation of desiccation cracking process by weak coupling of desiccation and fracture

Sayako Hirobe, Kenji Oguni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prediction of the possibilities for the desiccation cracking is important for the building construction because they could cause damages to the foundation structures. While the experimental and numerical researches were performed with various materials and conditions, the mechanism of the desiccation cracking is still not clear. In this research, the desiccation cracking is modeled by the coupling of the desiccation governed by the diffusion equation, the deformation, and the fracture. We perform the weak coupling analysis of the finite element analysis for the desiccation and the analysis of Particle Discretization Scheme Finite Element Method (PDS-FEM) for the deformation and the fracture. The simulation is carried out with the different thickness of the desiccation layer under various boundary conditions. The simulation results show the satisfactory agreement with the experimental observation in terms of the crack pattern with net-like structure, pattern formation process, and the change in size of the cells framed by the cracks depending on the thickness of the desiccation layer. This agreement between the simulation results and the experimental observations indicates that the coupling of desiccation, deformation, and fracture is a fundamental mechanism of the desiccation cracking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of GEOMATE
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1


  • Coupled Problem
  • Desiccation Cracks
  • Pattern Formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science


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