The following methods are available:
 Onset of cracking

The onset of cracking can be studied in quasistatic problems by using
contour integrals (Contour integral evaluation).
The Jintegral, the ${C}_{t}$integral
(for creep), the stress intensity factors for both homogeneous materials and
interfacial cracks, the crack propagation direction, and the
Tstress are calculated by
Abaqus/Standard.
Contour integrals can be used in two or threedimensional problems. In these
types of problems focused meshes are generally required and the propagation of
a crack is not studied.
 Crack
propagation

The crack propagation capability allows quasistatic, including lowcycle
fatigue, crack growth along predefined paths to be studied (Crack propagation analysis).
Cracks debond along userdefined surfaces. Several crack propagation criteria
are available, and multiple cracks can be included in the analysis. Contour
integrals can be requested in crack propagation problems.
 Line spring
elements

Partthrough cracks in shells can be modeled inexpensively by using line
spring elements in a static procedure, as explained in
Line spring elements for modeling partthrough cracks in shells.
 Extended finite
element method (XFEM)

XFEM models a crack as an enriched feature
by adding degrees of freedom in elements with special displacement functions
(Modeling discontinuities as an enriched feature using the extended finite element method).
XFEM does not require the mesh to match the
geometry of the discontinuities. It can be used to simulate initiation and
propagation of a discrete crack along an arbitrary, solutiondependent path
without the requirement of remeshing. XFEM can
also be used to perform contour integral evaluation without the need to refine
the mesh around the crack tip.