A great interest has been devoted in the last years to the description of the non-linear phenomena accompanied by highly localised strains occurring in the brittle materials. Such interest has triggered off the development of various techniques in the Finite Element (FE) context. A comparative study on such techniques is given in . A different approach which results to be more suitable in the Boundary Element (BE) context is the fictitious crack model: the developing fracture zone is modeled in a softening way, i.e. contact stresses decrease while the crack opening displacement increases. The dual boundary element method (DBEM) developed by  has shown to be very effective when applied to the fictitious crack model. The above approaches do not cope properly with the existence of a narrow fracture process zone containing a large number of distributed microcracks. The continuum damage mechanics is an attempt to link the distributed microcracking with the fracture mechanics. Its main drawback is the ill-posedness related to the strain softening behavior produced by the material damage, i.e. the numerical solution is non-objective with respect to the choice of the mesh. Following some recent results (see - ), the Authors couple a simple nonlocal damage model (which overcomes the mesh-dependence) with the crack analysis in order to describe the formation and propagation of a crack in brittle materials.
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