The Thick Level Set model (TLS) is a recent method to delocalize local constitutive models suffering spurious localization. It has two major advantages compared to other delocalization methods. The first one is that the transition from localization to fracture is taken into account in the model. The second one is that the delocalization only acts when and where needed. In other words, the TLS has no effect when the local model is stable. The former advantage was already detailed in several papers (IJNME 86:358-380, 2011, CMAME 233:11-27, 2012, IJF 174:49-60, 2012). This paper concentrates on the latter advantage.
The TLS delocalization approach is formulated as a bound on the damage gradient. The non-local zone is defined as the zone where the bound is met whereas the local zone is defined as the zone where it is not met. The boundary (localization front) between the local and non-local zone is the main unknown in the problem.
Based on the new model, a 1D pull-out test is solved both analytically and numerically. Different regimes are observed in the solution as the loading progresses: fully elastic, local damage, coupled local/non-local damage and, finally, purely non-local damage.
The new model introduces delocalization as an inequality allowing local damage to develop in zones whereas non-local damage may develop in other zones. This reduces dramatically the cost of implementation of such models compared to fully non-local models.