Phase field modeling of cyclic fatigue crack growth under mixed mode loading

Phase field modeling of cyclic fatigue crack growth under mixed mode loading

Christoph Schreiber, Charlotte Kuhn, Ralf Müller

Institute of Applied Mechanics, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany.



For the numerical handling of nucleation and extension of cracks within different materials, phase field modeling of fracture was shown to be a very beneficial technique in the past decade. Within numerous studies the framework was successfully applied even to complex crack problems. However, a phenomenon, which has not been much in the focus of research in terms of phase field modeling, is cyclic fatigue crack growth. Within technical developments this phenomenon is crucial as it has been found to be the source of several devastating accidents in the past. Within this work we introduce a phase field model capable of capturing fatigue crack growth under unidirectional as well as mixed mode loading. The driving force of the fatigue mechanism is controlled by cyclic damage evaluated from Miner’s rule, a very famous and robust phenomenological law within fatigue simulations. Among the prediction of realistic crack growth curves, the accuracy of the model is verified by comparison with analytic results regarding the crack growth direction.

Cite as:

Schreiber, C., Kuhn, C., & Müller, R. (2019). Phase field modeling of cyclic fatigue crack growth under mixed mode loading. Computer Methods in Materials Science, 19(2), 50-56.

Article (PDF):


Phase field, Fatigue crack, Fracture, Finite elements


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