Many technical materials, biological tissues and living cells are ionized porous media. Under changes of osmotic boundary conditions, these ionized gels respond by swelling to many times their own volume. As the macromolecular network of the gels has limited strength, fracture propagation may occur. Modelling of 3D finite swelling and subsequent fracture requires very careful modelling. Regular u-p formulations of swelling often fail to converge at the low stiffnesses considered. Our group developed a mixed hybrid finite element model of swelling of gels. Superior robustness is demonstrated. Fraction propagation under finite deformation is modelled including fluid flow within the crack and exchange of fluid between crack and gel . Comparison with experiments on fracture propagation demonstrate that the model reproduces staccato propagation of fracture in gel .
 J. Ding, J. J.C. Remmers, S. Leszczynski, J. M. Huyghe, Swelling Driven Crack Propagation in Large
Deformation in Ionized Hydrogel, J. Appl. Mech. in press.
 Pizzocolo, F.; Huyghe, J. M.; Ito, K. Mode I crack propagation in hydrogels is step wise. Engineering Fracture Mechanics 97: 72-79 (2013).
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