Project Description


Period: 1996-01-01 – 1999-09-30 (39 months).

Funded by: Comisión Europea



  • C.A.Brebbia, Diego d’Erba. Wessex Institute of Technology, UK (WIT).
  • J. C.Telles. Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro, Brasil (COPPE).
  • J. L. Otegui, A. Cisilino. Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Materiales, Argentina (INTEMA)
  • Francisco Fernández Rivera, Patricia González. Instituto de Informática, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC)
  • Tomás Fernández Pena, José Carlos Cabaleiro Domínguez, Patricia González Gómez. Electronic and Computation Department. Physics Faculty. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC).
  • Project financed by European Union, INCO-DC 950956

Description :

An interactive tool for the study of certain problems in Fracture Mechanics was developed. More specifically, this tool is designed for the study of crack propagation. We have named this tool HIPSIA, High Performance Simulation for Structural Integrity Analysis. Industry demands such tools to predict the behaviour of objects that show cracks. The availability of this tool will be instrumental in reducing risk of fractures and in lowering industry’s final products costs.

Boundary Elements Method (BEM) was chosen for this work. BEM is based on an integral formulation of the problem. The most important feature of BEM is that it only requires discretization of the boundary surface rather than volume. Thus, the dimension of the program is reduced. This is the main reason for choosing BEM over other numeric methods, such as Finite Elements, Finite Differences, which require the discretization of both the domain volume and its boundary surface.

This work included:

1. The creation of a 3D mesh generator. When fed the particulars about a given object, HIPSIA generates a mesh adapted to this object. The mesh generator takes over the task of automatic remeshing during the process of crack propagation.

2. The development of a computer code to solve the problem. This code was later parallelized for further problem solving efficiency.

3. The development of a Graphical User Interface. This allows the mesh and numerical results visualisation and animation.


P. González, T.F. Pena, J.C. Cabaleiro, and F.F. Rivera: «Dual BEM for crack growth analysis on distributed-memory multiprocessors». Technical report, Dpt. Electronics and Computer Science. University of Santiago de Compostela, 1998.

P. González, T.F. Pena, J.C. Cabaleiro, and F.F. Rivera: «Dual boundary element method for crack growth analysis on distributed-memory multiprocessors». In B. H. V. Topping, editor, Advances in Engineering Computational Technology, pp. 65-71. Civil-Comp Press, 1998.